“Unity” votes still up for grabs, says Mpumalanga SACP leader
Mpumalanga South African Communist Party (SACP) leader Lucky Mbuyane says “Unity” votes in Mpumalanga will likely go to the most persuasive bidder.
Earlier in the month, “Unity” dominated the Mpumalanga Provincial General Council (PGC), garnering 223 nominations. While Former African Union Commission chairperson, Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma won 123 branches, followed by ANC deputy president, Cyril Ramaphosa’s 117.
“Unity” is reportedly an instruction from ANC Mpumalanga chairperson DD Mabuza for branches not to pick an individual but instead write “unity” on their nomination forms.
Mpumalanga is the ANC’s second-biggest province and will be represented by 736 delegates at the conference. Lobbyists from both camps believe that “Unity’s” 223 nominations, which translate to just over 300 delegates, will be in their favor come voting time on Monday.
Speaking to the Mail & Guardian on Saturday, Mbuyane said it remained unclear who the 223 branches will nominate. He said the most convincing candidate is likely to be backed by the hanging branches.
“These votes can go either way. Both sides are claiming that the 223 nominations belong to them but there is no proof from either camp. The votes for unity will most likely go to the candidate that offers these branches the better deal. Remember that to a large extent the unity vote was a ploy to get to conference and have voting leverage,” Mbuyane told the M&G.
“Now that these branches have made it to conference they might split the votes because there is no clear mandate,” he added.
Although the 223 nominations were ruled as abstentions the branches are not barred from the conference and can still vote.
With the conference already underway, Mbuyane warned the ANC against forgoing the tradition that the deputy president automatically succeeds the president.
“We as the SACP have refrained from endorsing any particular candidate. But we are urging the ANC to stick to tradition. This tradition is that the deputy succeeds the president. For the stake of unity and cohesion this must not change,” said Mbuyane