The ANC’s Mkhonto weSizwe Military Veterans Association (MKMVA) president Kebby Maphatsoe said his failure to convince his own branch to nominate former African Union Commission chairperson Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma to be president is due to the Gauteng province’s endorsement of the ANC deputy Cyril Ramaphosa.
The Commander Kofifi branch in Protea Glen, Soweto, has over 400 members and nominated Ramaphosa as their preferred successor to President Jacob Zuma at their general meeting on Sunday night.
“It’s been a general practice for the PEC [provincial executive committee] to pronounce on their preferred candidates. So obviously it will influence the direction of the branches. Those people who were elected in the PEC were elected by the majority that went to the provincial conference, so their infrastructure is still strong,” Maphatsoe told the Mail & Guardian on Monday.
The MKMVA publicly endorsed Dlamini-Zuma’s campaign three months ago, and Maphatsoe is one of her senior lobbyists. But his failure to convince his branch to nominate Dlamini-Zuma doesn’t mean he is unable to convince other branches in different provinces, Maphatsoe said.
“Under normal circumstances, you would have expected my branch to have nominated Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, but it’s a very big branch. I don’t want to come with excuses, it’s just that the other side did well and it was a secret ballot.”
The ANC branch of MKMVA treasurer Des van Rooyen, who also backs Dlamini-Zuma, nominated Ramaphosa. In October the Gedleyihlekisa branch in Durban also backed Ramaphosa.