Western Cape ANC backs Ramaphosa and his ‘winning team’

The ANC in the Western Cape has become the second provincial structure of the party to nominate Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa as its preferred successor to President Jacob Zuma.

The nomination was announced at the ANC Western Cape provincial general council (PGC) in Cape Town on Sunday.

The nomination outcomes—save for deputy president—reflect a near complete endorsement of Ramaphosa’s ‘winning team’. He announced his slate of preferred leadership at a rally in Limpopo this month.

The PGC nominated Rampahosa for president, Lindiwe Sisulu as deputy, Gwede Mantashe as national chairperson, Senzo Mchunu as secretary general and Paul Mashatile as treasurer.

Ramaphosa received 121 votes out of 145 branches, while his main rival, Dr Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma received 13. The ANC deputy president received the majority of branch nominations from all of the Western Cape’s six regions.

The province’s biggest region in the Cape Town metro council, Dullah Omar, was disbanded by provincial leaders only to be reinstated by the national executive committee, and proved to be a key battleground during nominations. Ramaphosa received 28 nominations from branches in the region, while Dlamini-Zuma received just 8.

Human Settlements minister Lindiwe Sisulu was nominated to be deputy president, beating Science and Technology Minister Naledi Pandor by 98 votes to 17.

Former ANC KwaZulu-Natal chairperson Senzo Mchunu was nominated as secretary general with 113 votes while Cosatu’s deputy president Zingiswa Losi was nominated to be his deputy with 60 votes.

Gwede Mantashe emerged as the most popular candidate in the province, securing 128 nominations for the position of national chairperson, beating his current deputy Jessie Duarte, who received 9 nominations. The leader of the ANC in Gauteng, Paul Mashatile, was nominated to be treasurer with 127 votes.

Delivering the keynote address to the PGC, Mantashe lamented divisions in the province and rival factions backing Dlamini-Zuma and Ramaphosa.

“The biggest enemy of the WC is disunity, you hate each other with passion…as long as you do that you won’t be able to recover because you undercut each other every time,” he told the gathering.

Mantashe also warned that if delegates to the party’s conference do not elect new leadership with future succession in mind, “there would be another crisis at the next conference.”

The ANC secretary general also warned delegates to the national conference not to sell their votes and place the ANC on “auction”.

“Sometimes we use conferences as auctions, to auction the ANC… If you sell the ANC now, you will sit with that crisis for the next five years. That R3000 or R4000 you were offered will haunt you for five years,” he said.

With the latest endorsement, Ramaphosa now has the backing of the ANC’s two smallest provinces by membership. The Northern Cape and Western Cape’s combined delegation to the December conference is 379, which is still less than the delegation of 409 from the third smallest province, the Free State.

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Govan Whittles

Govan Whittles is a general news and political multimedia journalist at the Mail & Guardian. Born in King William's Town in the Eastern Cape, he cut his teeth as a radio journalist at Primedia Broadcasting. He produced two documentaries and one short film for the Walter Sisulu University, and enjoys writing about grassroots issues, national politics, identity, heritage and hip-hop culture.

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