All eyes now on delegate credentials as ANC prepares to vote

'At this stage every vote counts. You cannot afford to lose delegates, especially in the climate where the momentum has been shifting away from NDZ towards Cyril Ramaphosa'. (Delwyn Verasamy/M&G)

'At this stage every vote counts. You cannot afford to lose delegates, especially in the climate where the momentum has been shifting away from NDZ towards Cyril Ramaphosa'. (Delwyn Verasamy/M&G)

As the ANC opened its 54th national conference on Saturday, the decision taken by the national executive committee (NEC) to revoke the voting status of delegates from some structures in the Free State, KwaZulu-Natal and the Bojanala region in the North West is likely to dominate proceedings.

Crucially all three provinces have already nominated Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma for ANC president and are expected to vote when the ANC begins its election process.

Political analyst Tinyiko Maluleke says the exclusion of 54 provincial executive committee members and 40 Bojanala branches from voting will not adversely affect Dlamini-Zuma’s fortunes.

“Where NDZ led, she led by a large number and these are not necessarily going to change the bigger picture, although when a contest is this close, every delegate’s vote matters,” said Maluleke.

“What matters now is how many and who is at the door,” he said .“It will be reckless for the ANC not to take heed of the court, because to ignore the court judgments would be to open the conference up for another court challenge.”

The election, however, is still set to be closely fought.

“At this stage every vote counts. You cannot afford to lose delegates, especially in the climate where the momentum has been shifting away from NDZ towards Cyril Ramaphosa,” political analyst Aubrey Matshiqi said.

“For Ramaphosa this is good news, because it is pushing him closer to the goal of winning conference.
Whether it is enough is another question,” said Matshiqi.

​Thulebona Mhlanga

​Thulebona Mhlanga

Thulebona Mhlanga is financial trainee journalist  at the Mail & Guardian, currently enrolled for a masters in politics at the University of Johannesburg. In addition to her fervent interest in business writing, reading and educating others around issues of financial literacy, she volunteers her time to projects assisting women and promoting social justice.  Read more from ​Thulebona Mhlanga

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