After lying low for a long time another ANC faction that is contesting the forthcoming regional conference has finally revealed their top five candidates leaving other regional ANC members stunned. The latest list of candidates has got the name of the current chairperson Sixolile Mehlomakhulu as the face of the second lineup. The lineup was published on social media for the first time on Thursday. Since last year a line up with current Regional Secretary Vukile Mhlelmbana’s name was the only one popularised to the ANC members doing rounds on social media. The new developments are a confirmation that Mehlomakhulu and Mhlelembana will be pitted against each other during the June regional conference. Justifying their surprise, ANC sources in the region said Mehlomakhulu had initially declined to contest in the next conference three consecutive times.

One ANC regional leader Sonwabile Mngenela told the informer that Mehlomakhulu denied his availability in an RTT meeting on Thursday this week the first day when the lineup with his name surfaced on social media. “I was the one who asked him about this lineup and he distanced himself from it. This was not the first time,

“Two weeks back we had an RTT meeting in Mbizana where Mehlomakhulu stood up and emphasised that he will not contest the position of chairpersonship in the forth coming conference. Although we are not surprised with the new developments it is disappointing that the current chairperson is destabilising the unity that we are trying to maintain in the region, “said Mngenela.

Another leader said there were sessions between the regional and provincial leadership wherein it was agreed that Mehlomakhulu will be co-opted to the provincial level. “In one regional meeting Mehlomakhlu supported the name of Mhlelembana as the incoming chairperson,” the leader said.

Commenting about this Mehlomakhulu vehemently denied allegations that he declined to avail himself of the forthcoming conference. He also denied knowledge of the lineup that has got his name as the chairperson although it was published on social media and was asked about it during an RTT meeting the first day it surfaced on social media.

“I don’t know anything about what you are telling me. What I am aware of is that there are lobby groups that are going around selling our names to delegates then we will know during the conference that our names are nominated. I have never involved myself in any negotiations and declining to stand in the forthcoming conference”, concluded Mehlomakhulu.

Asked if he is going to contest the position of chairpersonship in the forthcoming elective conference Mehlomakhulu refused to come out clear saying that branches will determine that fact. Last month the RTT began a process of launching branches and doing nominations in preparation for the conference. According to RTT spokesperson Onke Diko, 70% of the branches have conducted their BGMs and have nominated their preferred candidates for the position of leadership. “At the moment it is not clear if how many of the branches have nominated Mhlelembana or Mehlomakhulu. But seemingly Mhlelembana has taken the majority of branches. This weekend delegates will be given a chance to register their names for the conference”, he said.

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