The ANC in Gauteng yesterday extended Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa’s lead in terms of branch nominations ahead of the party’s crucial national elective conference on December 16 in Nasrec in Johannesburg.
Fellow presidential contender Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma received 64 nominations – 310 fewer than Ramaphosa, who received a total of 374. This means that seven out of every 10 branches in Gauteng favoured Ramaphosa as their presidential candidate. However, branch nominations did not necessarily determine the number of voting delegates in favour of a particular candidate, although wide margins provide some comfort.
At 508 delegates, Gauteng would bring the sixth-largest number of branch members to the national conference. In Limpopo, the ANC sits today to consolidate nominations from its branches.
KwaZulu-Natal tops the ANC membership numbers and should conclude its provincial general council tomorrow.
Gauteng ANC chairperson Paul Mashatile received the nod from branches to become the party’s next treasurer-general, sending the crowd in the hall at St George’s in Centurion into a frenzy. Current ANC secretary-general Gwede Mantashe received the province’s nomination for chairperson.
Mashatile managed 10 more branch nominations than Ramaphosa. Human Settlements Minister Lindiwe Sisulu clinched the nomination to become Ramaphosa’s deputy.
Former KwaZulu-Natal premier Senzo Mchunu was nominated as secretary-general, with former ANC Youth League secretary-general Vuyiswa Tulelo receiving the nod for the deputy position.
President Jacob Zuma is expected to hand over the reins to a new president of the party in two weeks.
Meanwhile in North West, a court challenge looms against the ANC in the province following the contested result that favoured presidential nominee Dlamini-Zuma to succeed Jacob Zuma.
This comes after the province’s general council on Friday in Hammanskraal, northern Pretoria, declared Dlamini-Zuma the overall winner with 291 branch nominations for the position of president.
The results announcement was preceded by scuffles, shouting, singing, booing and heated disputes over alleged bogus delegates that participated in the meeting in order to disadvantage Ramaphosa.
While the meeting was under way, a few metres away at a hotel restaurant, key lobbyists in Ramaphosa’s campaign were compiling evidence of irregularities in the nominations process with a view to filing an urgent court interdict against the results.
It had been expected, City Press heard with authority, that Ramaphosa would receive at least 169 branch nominations, but the ANC elections agency reported that he had only managed to obtain 45 nominations. The media was allowed to sit in the plenary during the debate on the credentials, which was an unprecedented event for similar ANC meetings.
In his closing address, North West premier and ANC provincial chairperson Supra Mahumapelo described the mood as one of “robust engagement” and urged the media to report that “no one was suppressed”.