ANC denies claims it plans to marginalise Zuma
The ANC in Gauteng on Saturday denied reports that provincial leaders instructed branches not to nominate President Jacob Zuma in its lists for Parliament.
On Friday, the Mail & Guardian reported that: "Zuma ... has overwhelming support in most provinces but some Gauteng branches have allegedly been instructed by provincial leaders not to nominate him."
Gauteng ANC spokesperson Dumisa Ntuli said in a statement that no instruction was issued to marginalise Zuma.
"The PEC [provincial executive committee] condemned the inaccurate, false and distorted article in the Mail & Guardian that the organisation has issued instructions in the branches not to nominate ... Zuma in the national list to Parliament," he said.
"The PEC can confirm that ... [Zuma] has [been] nominated overwhelmingly by branches of the ANC in Gauteng."
A special meeting to receive the list of candidates to sit in Parliament and the provincial legislature next year was held on Friday.
The provincial list conference would take place on Thursday.
ANC insiders close to the list process
According to the Friday report, ANC insiders close to the list process told the M&G that Ramaphosa's name appeared second after party president Jacob Zuma on the national list.
This was despite attempts by some leaders – particularly those in KwaZulu-Natal – to sideline the tycoon after the 2014 elections in favour of African Union chairperson Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma as deputy president of the country.
The position is currently held by Kgalema Motlanthe, who has made it clear he does not plan on returning to government after his defeat for the position of ANC president in Mangaung. Earlier this month, the ANC Youth League's national task team broke with tradition and openly endorsed Ramaphosa as their preferred candidate for deputy president.
Zuma, meanwhile, has overwhelming support in most provinces, but some Gauteng branches have allegedly been instructed by provincial leaders not to nominate him – a move that is expected to deepen tensions between the province and Luthuli House.
The alleged attempt to force branches into not nominating Zuma has angered his supporters, who plan to mount a formal complaint at the next national executive committee (NEC) meeting. – Sapa; additional reporting by Matuma Letsoalo and Charles Molele