/ 5 December 2017

KZN branch recount still favours NDZ for the ANC presidency

After addressing the ANC’s Ukahlamba regional congress on Monday
After addressing the ANC’s Ukahlamba regional congress on Monday

The KwaZulu-Natal’s branches recount of the nominations from its provincial general council meeting (PGC) has made no material difference to the outcome, which remains strongly in favour in former African Union Commission chairperson Dr Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma.

The recount was conducted by the party’s electoral commission overnight at the request of ANCYL provincial secretary Thanduxolo Sabelo and branches from several regions, who had raised ‘’concerns’’ over the consolidated results released by the electoral commission on Monday evening.

While the issue has been resolved for now, the province intends to challenge the existing composition of the electoral commission over the discrepancies in the results. It will also push for changes to the electoral commission at the party’s national conference later this month. The elections are currently overseen by Elexions Agency, an in-house electoral agency.

The province says, however, that their aim is changing the way the elections are run, and not collapsing conference.

The recount saw Dlamini-Zuma’s nominations increase by 21 from 433 branches to 454, with Ramaphosa’s nominations being revised downwards from 193 to 191. The number of branches which abstained was changed from 56 to 39, while the number of qualified branches in the province has increased from 688 to 690.

READ MORE: Ramaphosa emerges as frontrunner in ANC presidential race

For deputy president, Mpumalanga chairperson David Mabuza’s branch nomination tally increased from 434 to 449, with Naledi Pandor’s nomination dropping from 53 to 51 and those for Dr Zweli Mkhize rising from 59 to 64. The number of branches who abstained dropped from 67 to 50.

Nathi Mthethwa, the province’s choice for national chairperson received 371 nominations, as opposed to 358 originally. Current secretary general Gwede Mantashe’s nominations remained the same at 190 while those for deputy secretary general Jessie Duarte increased from 47 to 52.

For secretary general, current Free State chairperson Ace Magashule’s tally of branches increased from 434 to 449, Senzo Mchunu’s remained the same at 192. For deputy secretary general, Jessie Duarte’s tally rose from 357 to 372, while Cosatu first deputy president Zingiswa Losi’s nominations rose from 111 to 113.

READ MORE: Zikalala rejects Mkhize’s ‘third way’ candidate as “opportunism”

In the treasure general’s position, Nomvula Mokonyane benefited by three nominations, securing 302, while Paul Mashatile received two less at 187.

Ahead of the revised figures being announced, provincial deputy chairperson Willies Mchunu said the integrity of the agency and the process was in question.

Mchunu said Sabelo had done a ‘’very important job’’ by asking for the recount.

He said the joint team of ANC official and agency staff had found that ‘’something had gone wrong.’’

‘’It is very important that we maintain the integrity of the process. That integrity is going to lead to the integrity of the conference itself,’’ he said.

Mchunu said that that matter had to be dealt with.

‘’If we fail with integrity we are going to be judged very harshly,’’ he said.

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Elexions Agency official Bontle Mpakanyane told the council meeting that the recount had resolved the issues ‘’amicably.’’ Discrepancies had been uncovered in the tallies of regions including Moses Mabhida, Harry Gwala and Lower South Coast. In Moses Mabhida, 17 booklets containing copies of nominations handed to the province, branch and electoral commission had been torn out and placed in another box.

She said they had resolved issues amicably with the ANC regions that had raised ”concerns.”

Elexions Agency official Bontle Mapakanyane who addressed the conference and presented the new figures, has said the recount did not “materially change the outcome.”

An expected address by the chairperson of the agency during the plenary called to release the new results did not materialise, with secretary Super Zuma insisting that the media leave before the report was given.

Speaking on the sidelines of the conference, ANC PEC member Nomagugu Simelane-Zulu said that they would complain to Mantashe about the performance of the electoral agency. She said that the way in which the elections were run needed to be revisited, something that the province push at conference.

She denied that the raising of objections with the process was aimed at collapsing conference, saying the province rather wanted the electoral process changed. The province would push for this she said.

‘’No this is not about collapsing conference. We are concerned about the way the elections are being run. We have raised this before so this is nothing really new. But we are not going to leave this issue,’’ she said.