South Africa: With Zandile Gumede's Removal, Tremors of Change Reverberate From the KZN ANC

Zandile Gumede (file photo).

KwaZulu-Natal is a crucial region for the ANC. The decision to remove someone like eThekwini mayor Zandile Gumede, who has strongly supported former President Jacob Zuma, is truly significant.

Tuesday's decision by the ANC in KwaZulu-Natal to remove the executive leaderships of its two biggest councils, eThekwini and Msunduzi, could well mark a turning point in the party. They are evidence that elements in the ANC are trying hard to start a renewal process. Still, the decision to remove Zandile Gumede as eThekwini mayor is bound to exact a heavy price as KZN is likely to see more political turmoil in the near future.

In the difficult terrain that is currently the ANC, the piece of territory that is KwaZulu-Natal is crucial. Within KZN, the ANC's biggest region of eThekwini has played the role of king-maker in the past (it was the region that first nominated Cyril Ramaphosa to be the deputy leader of the ANC in the run-up to Mangaung in 2012). The decision to remove someone who has strongly supported former president Jacob Zuma is significant.

However, such is the politics of the situation that it has been couched very carefully. Particular care has been taken to ensure...

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