Foul play! ANCWL slams MEC Duma for undermining Premier Dube-Ncube over Bok trophy picture

KZN Department of Economic Development, Tourism, and Environmental Affairs, MEC, and Government Business leader Siboniso Duma. Picture: Tumi Pakkies / Independent Newspapers

KZN Department of Economic Development, Tourism, and Environmental Affairs, MEC, and Government Business leader Siboniso Duma. Picture: Tumi Pakkies / Independent Newspapers

Published Nov 6, 2023


What was meant to be a photo opportunity for Springbok captain and KZN premier Nomusa Dube-Ncube has turned into a scrappy rugby brawl for Economic Development MEC Sboniso Duma after he overzealously lifted the trophy with Eben Etzebeth, leaving the premier in his shadows.

Duma has been criticised for imposing himself and lifting the trophy high to the Durban crowd outside the City Hall in eThekwini with Etzebeth, leaving Dube-Ncube with little chance to get her hands on the trophy for the picture.

An official had called for the premier and Etzebeth to lift the trophy. The ANC in KZN has sought to pour cold water on the saga, saying Duma and Etzebeth’s height was the issue, not Dube-Ncube being undermined.

However, Duma has been criticised by opposition parties, including internally, with the ANC Women's League criticising him for imposing himself and undermining Dube-Ncube.

Duma was elected ANC KZN chairperson last year, but he did not take up the KZN premier seat, which had been vacated by Sihle Zikalala. Instead,  the party opted for Dube-Ncube to occupy the position and become the first woman premier in KZN.

In a strongly worded statement, the ANC Women's League said it was deeply concerned by the “ongoing and regrettable actions” of Duma, which were repeatedly undermining the authority and leadership of Premier Dube-Ncube.

“These regrettable actions not only continue to undermine the authority of the premier of the province but also betray the principles of non-sexism and gender equality that are fundamental to the ANC's ideology.

“Gender equality is not just an ideal but a fundamental principle that the ANC identifies with.

“The actions of Comrade Duma demonstrate a regrettable departure from this essential value, perpetuating harmful gender stereotypes which have no place within the ANC or in broader political discourse,” the ANCWL said.

The league said Duma’s actions of undermining and disrespecting Premier Dube-Ncube merely because she was not the provincial chairperson were at odds with the culture of the ANC.

“It is crucial to highlight that even in scenarios where the premier is a woman and the provincial chair is a man, there has never been a display of blatant sexism or actions undermining the leadership of the female premier,” the league said.

The league said Duma should desist from undermining premier Dube-Ncube, adding that in Gauteng, the Free State, the Eastern Cape, and the Northern Cape, there had been similar arrangements, but they were based on mutual respect.

EFF KZN chair Mongezi Gwala also condemned Duma for “persistent bullying and undermining of the premier just because she is a woman”.

They said his actions exposed his “misogynist character and completely embarrassed” the premier in front of the entire country.

“The ANC is once again showing its true colours that it has no respect for women leadership and authority within its ranks. They sold the people of KZN a lie when they pretended as if they supported a female to be the premier of KZN.

“It is quite clear now for South Africa to see that Duma is intolerant and completely disgusted to be led by a woman. He despises a woman who comes from the very same organisation which he leads; how much more the women which he doesn't even know?" said Twala.

DA KZN leader Francois Rodgers took to Facebook to take the mickey, saying KZN had a new premier, quipping “Taliban for life"—referring to the winning faction, which saw Duma elected ANC KZN provincial chair, defeating Zikalala. Dube-Ncube was nominated from the floor at the same conference, but she did not meet the required threshold and was thus disqualified.

DA MPL Dean Macpherson said Duma owed Premier Dube-Ncube an apology over the saga.

“MEC Duma humiliated the premier, not just as a premier but also as a leader of the government. I think that MEC Duma needs to apologise to her, but I also think that the premier needs to consider her position; she is in office, but she is not in power, and she is not running this government, it is very clear that it's MEC Duma and his Taliban faction in the ANC and that is why we have so many service delivery problems in KZN.

“The ANC is so heavily divided; we have a man who is not elected as the premier, pretending he is the premier, and we have a premier who can’t be the premier. It is a terrible position, and the ANC should surely intervene and condemn that sort of humiliation MEC Duma brought on the office,” he said.

— Sihle Mavuso (@ZANewsFlash) November 5, 2023

According to a TimesLive report, ANC KZN spokesperson Mafika Mndebele said the issue was height and not Duma expressing his ambitions for the premier’s office.

“The premier could not lift the cup higher than the chairperson and [Etzebeth]. There is really nothing more. It’s not like where they say the premier must address, but then the chairperson stood up and addressed,” he said.

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