National

Factional discord plagues ANC nominations

Genevieve Quintal

The ANC's nomination conferences have been plagued by factional discord, with three provinces failing to nominate their preferred candidates.

The ANC's nomination conferences have been plagued by factional discord, with three provinces failing to nominate their preferred candidates. (Madelene Cronje, M&G)

A Friday deadline for nominations was not met by the ANC's Limpopo, Western Cape and North West regions. 

In North West, the provincial general council (PGC) meeting was delayed for two days because of issues with the verification of branch delegates by external auditors and because of parallel a conference being held in Mafikeng.

The parallel conference was organised by provincial secretary Kabelo Mataboge, who was supporting the nomination of Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe for president of the party. Provincial chairperson Supra Mahumapelo supports the nomination of President Jacob Zuma for a second term.

The ANC's national executive committee (NEC) endorsed the Hartbeespoort conference as the official PGC. Delegates were given the green light to start registering on Saturday, but the conference was delayed again while the provincial executive committee and NEC members held talks overnight to try and resolve the parallel conference problem. It was decided at the meeting that the two factions would hold one PGC, together, at a new venue in Rustenburg. The conference is being held at the Rustenburg Civic Centre.

The ANC in Limpopo had to cancel its PGC on Friday night when a group of what have described as "violent hooligans" disrupted proceedings. Provincial spokesperson Makonde Mathivha said delegates had to flee the venue. He claimed former provincial secretary Joe Maswanganye was part of the group, who wore T-shirts with President Jacob Zuma's face printed on them.

Maswanganye was defeated at Limpopo's provincial elective conference last year and was replaced by current secretary Soviet Lekganyane.

Adjourned
The ANC in the Western Cape adjourned its PGC early on Saturday morning without endorsing candidates because of logistical delays, including with the verification of branch delegates.

Provincial secretary Songezo Mjongile said on Sunday that the PGC had convened again at 9pm on Saturday night, but had collapsed again. He said there was a lack of commitment to the process. "There were some disruptions by a group which did not want the PGC to conclude its business."

Despite the problems in the three provinces ANC secretary general Gwede Mantashe said most of the party's provinces and leagues held successful nomination conferences. "We have three outstanding ... These are difficult provinces and we are managing these."

ANC spokesperson Jackson Mthembu said the national working committee was meeting on Sunday to discuss the issues. The NEC holds its final meeting for the year on Monday.

The provinces' failure to hold PGCs will not affect their delegates' attendance of the ANC's national elective conference in Mangaung from December 16 to December 20, or their voting rights.

KwaZulu-Natal, which is the ANC's biggest province and a Zuma stronghold, has nominated Zuma to serve a second term with 849 votes to five for deputy president Kgalema Motlanthe.

Nominations
The Eastern Cape, Mpumalanga, the Free State and Northern Cape also nominated Zuma. In the Eastern Cape, Zuma took 392 of the votes versus Motlanthe's 211; in Mpumalanga, Zuma got 427 votes and Motlanthe 17; in the Free State Zuma got 324 votes and Motlanthe none; and in the Northern Cape, Zuma got 169 votes and Motlanthe 25. 

Gauteng was the only province to endorse Motlanthe with 238 votes to Zuma's 173.

Although Motlanthe has been nominated by Gauteng and the ANC Youth League he has not said whether he will accept the nomination.

The battle for the position of deputy president has also been hotly contested. Three provinces—KwaZulu-Natal, Mpumalanga and the Eastern Cape—nominated NEC member Cyril Ramaphosa for the position.

Motlanthe was nominated by the Northern Cape. The Free State wanted current ANC chairperson Baleka Mbete to be Zuma's deputy and Gauteng nominated Human Settlements Minister Tokyo Sexwale.

During the PGCs delegates also nominated candidates for the new NEC. – Sapa

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