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Limpopo, N Cape ANC nominations conference delayed

Sapa

Late branch meetings has seen severe delays at the Northern Cape and Limpopo ANC's nomination conferences.

Jacob Zuma and Kgalema Motlanthe have both been nominated for president of the ANC. (Gallo)

The Limpopo ANC's nomination conference had not started by early Friday evening. "Only two regions have been verified so far," provincial secretary Soviet Lekganyane said. "We are still waiting for head office to verify the others."

The ANC in Limpopo was supposed to hold its provincial general council, where it would nominate its preferred candidates for leadership of the party, earlier this week. The conference was postponed at the last minute because close to 70 branches had not completed their branch general meetings. Branches were then given until Friday to complete the meetings.

This was also the deadline for nominations set by the national executive committee (NEC).

Limpopo's five regions differed in their nomination of who should lead the party for the next five years. Some wanted President Jacob Zuma to retain his position, while others wanted Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe to take the reins.

The ANC will hold its national elective conference in Mangaung next month. Four names had emerged as favourites for deputy president.

Provinces calling for a second term for Zuma had endorsed Motlanthe or NEC member Cyril Ramaphosa as deputy president. Those who wanted Zuma replaced were backing Human Settlements Minister Tokyo Sexwale or ANC treasurer general Mathews Phosa.

More delays
The Northern Cape ANC's nominations conference in Kimberley had not started by late Friday afternoon. Indications that the final stages of the verification of nominations from branches had been reached came around 5pm on Friday. Delegates were asked to gather at certain points in the hall to be verified as present, and to decide whether there was a quorum. There were indications there could be voting for some posts, but it was not clear for which of the ANC's top six leadership posts.

On Thursday, the provincial ANC leadership said there seemed to be two strong lobby groups in the province, one for ANC president Jacob Zuma and another for his deputy Kgalema Montlanthe.

Northern Cape ANC leader John Block urged delegates to stay united, regardless of the outcome of the nomination process.

The conference at the Jimmy Summers Hall began with heavy security measures in place, and proceedings were taking place in an orderly and quiet manner.

Two nominations
Zuma and Motlanthe have each received two nominations to lead the ANC, ahead of voting at the party's Eastern Cape leadership conference in Alice, on Friday. "The provincial nominations conference is now underway, with delegates motivating nominations of candidates for the top six positions," ANC provincial secretary Oscar Mabuyane said at the University of Fort Hare.

Motlanthe was nominated to continue as ANC deputy president by two delegates. Ramaphosa was also nominated to be the party deputy by two delegates, as was Sexwale, who received two nominations. Phosa received one nomination.

ANC secretary general Gwede Mantashe was nominated to continue in the position by two delegates, as was Sports Minister Fikile Mbalula.

Planning Minister Trevor Manuel and former presidential advisor Joel Netshitenze each received one nomination for the position.

The conference is due to vote on its candidates for the party's top six positions later on Friday.

Divisions
Divisions on who Western Cape ANC branch delegates want to nominate for the ruling party's Mangaung Conference were evident at a Provincial General Council (PGC) meeting on Friday.

The nomination proceedings, taking place at the University of the Western Cape, were delayed as Provincial Executive Committee members met behind closed doors to verify branch lists. The Western Cape has 170 branches. Only 150 qualified to attend the PGC, because they had, according to party rules, held their branch general meetings to nominate a delegate to attend Mangaung.

Of the 150, 122 delegates have been verified to vote in Thursday's PGC. The rest of the names will be checked against branch lists to confirm whether they are members in good standing, and whether they have been endorsed by branch leadership.

Delegates were told to go for lunch while the verification process continues. They were expected to return and register for the PGC.

As delegates left the UWC lecture hall where voting is to take place, two groups emerged, some singing pro-Zuma songs, others singing that it was time for the president to go.

Delegates and their supporters were also told to take off T-shirts bearing the pictures of their preferred candidates. Some wore attire with Zuma's face painted on it. Others wore sweaters with the words "anti-tribalism" printed on them as well as a list of their top six for the ANC, which included Motlanthe for president, Phosa for deputy president, and Sexwale for treasurer general. – Sapa

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