/ 29 October 2007

ANC branch ignores Zuma for leadership

Groutville, the party branch founded by former African National Congress (ANC) president Albert Luthuli, has nominated Thabo Mbeki for ANC president, the Daily News reported on Monday.

Arch-rival Jacob Zuma did not even make the branch’s list of its top six preferred candidates.

The Groutville branch, located near Kwadukuza (formerly Stanger) in KwaZulu-Natal, named Mbeki as its preferred candidate for president and Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma as his deputy.

The newspaper said the branch has nominated the country’s Deputy President, Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, to take the party’s key treasury post, while Mosiuoa Lekota has been nominated for the position of party secretary general.

Joel Netshitenzhe was listed as the branch’s preferred candidate for national chairperson and Thoko Didiza for deputy secretary.

Current ANC secretary general Kgalema Motlanthe was also missing from the branch’s list.

The Daily News reported that the branch chose a ”staunch Mbeki-backer”, Siyanda Mhlongo, to represent it at the ANC national conference in Limpopo in December.

Mhlongo was expelled from the party after he had written letters to the national executive pointing out provincial leaders who were apparently behind a plot to make certain areas of the province ”no-go areas” for Mbeki.


Cyril Ramaphosa has also been formally nominated to lead the African National Congress, media reports said on Monday — though the businessman has maintained he is not interested in the position.

The ANC’s Rondebosch branch in Cape Town has nominated Ramaphosa as its candidate in the party’s succession race.

ANC stalwarts such as former Cabinet minister Kader Asmal, Environmental Affairs and Tourism Minister Marthinus van Schalkwyk and Western Cape education minister Cameron Dugmore are members of this branch.

Asmal put forward Ramaphosa’s name and received support from most members attending a branch meeting last week. The names of President Thabo Mbeki, the current party leader, and his deputy, Jacob Zuma, were also put forward but received little support, Beeld newspaper reported.