The former health minister recently got a shot in the arm after some Zulu traditional leaders endorsed him to run as a presidential candidate and contest against president Cyril Ramaphosa over the weekend.
Mkhize accepted the good gesture and revealed that he was going to take up the task and contest the incumbent, Cyril Ramaphosa for ANC's highest position.
This however infuriated some backers of president Cyril Ramaphosa who had not anticipated that Zweli Mkhize will challenge the president in December.
In the past years, Zweli Mkhize has always been touted as a Ramaphosa backer, until the time the Digital Vibes corruption scandal emerged, and CR faction began distancing itself from Mkhize even though they had sang him praises in the past.
The ANC heavyweight in the Kwa-Zulu Natal province, following his resignation as the health minister last year, he suddenly become recognised as an RET force, and a Zuma backer.
ANC veteran, Derek Hanekom reacting to the endorsement of Zweli Mkhize to contest Cyril Ramaphosa at the elective conference in December, said that the movement was focusing on renewal and people like Mkhize facing criminal charges cannot emerge as leaders.
Hanekom said there is no campaign to smear Zweli Mkhize, but insinuated that the former health minister has smeared himself.
"Is there a campaign to smear him or has he smeared himself? The December Conference has to be a renewal conference - the beginning of a fresh chapter. We cannot emerge from that conference with leaders who are facing criminal charges," said Derek Hanekom.
Mkhize also seem like he is facing strong opposition from various angles, recently former president Thabo Mbeki said ANC made a mistake by not pronouncing clearly that those comrades facing criminal charges are not allowed to be nominated for any position.
This stance is meant to close out all potential candidates who want to stand against Cyril Ramaphosa.
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