D-day looming for candidates vying for top ANC positions

Candidates vying for top ANC leadership and a seat at the party’s national executive committee, which is the highest decision-making body between conferences, will know on Thursday whether their candidacy had received sufficient backing from branches.

In a media briefing on Tuesday at the Seme House, the ANC KwaZulu-Natal headquarters, the party said although several names had been bandied about on social media platforms, the consolidated numbers might show a different picture.

“On Thursday, the province of KwaZulu-Natal under the strict supervision of the Independent Electoral Commission, led by comrade [Kgalema] Motlanthe, will open nominations. The process will be administered by an appointed independent elections agency in the presence of regional observers,” said provincial secretary Bheki Mtolo.

He said the process will be transparent, open and all qualifying branches that have had successful branch general meetings (BGM) and qualified will have their nominations counted manually.

“The person who has received the majority of nominations per each of the top six positions will be deemed duly nominated as the provincial nominee of KwaZulu-Natal in line with rule 12 of the ANC constitution,” he said.

The majority of branches are known to be backing former minister of health Zweli Mkhize to lock horns with party president Cyril Ramaphosa, who is seeking re-election.

Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs Minister, also wants a second bite at the cherry after she was narrowly defeated in the 2017 Nasrec elective conference.

Other names that the province is pushing include that of current treasurer and acting secretary-general Paul Mashatile as deputy president. For the key position of secretary general, KwaZulu-Natal wants former Eastern Cape premier Phumulo Masualle.

The province will be sending one of the biggest delegations to the December conference, making it a key power broker in determining who will become the next president of the ruling party. As of Monday, close to 700 branches out of 870 had convened their BGMs.

There is also talk that after the consolidation of numbers, other candidates might be forced to relinquish availability to appease other provinces and bolster Mkhize campaign.

Although Masualle had received the nod from the province, former provincial secretary Mdumiseni Ntuli has emerged stronger in several branches.

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