Supra Mahumapelo: If they recount SG votes, they must recount the entire top six

Mahumapelo says Ramaphosa supporters will put the ANC at “risk” by calling for a recount. (Rajesh Jantilal/M&G)

Mahumapelo says Ramaphosa supporters will put the ANC at “risk” by calling for a recount. (Rajesh Jantilal/M&G)

An urgent ANC elective conference steering committee meeting is currently underway to discuss the issue of 68 ballots that were not counted among the votes for the position of party secretary-general, North West ANC chair Supra Mahumapelo confirmed.

Mahumapelo told journalists on Tuesday that Cyril Ramaphosa supporters were demanding a recount of the votes for the secretary general position after Senzo Mchunu lost to Ace Magashule by just 24 votes. The result led to shock within the Nasrec centre, as Mchunu was largely believed to have won.

But Mahumapelo, a supporter of Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, said that if there is a recount for the SG post, then there must be a recount for all positions in the top six. He said that the Ramaphosa supporters will put the ANC at “risk” by calling for a recount.

“The risks are two: one, you can’t just call for recounting one position because you don’t know who voted how, because this is a secret ballot,” he said.

The second risk, he said, is that a recount could mean that the organisation would have to do an entire rerun of the top six positions.

He said that by raising the issue in the steering committee, Ramaphosa backers have a better chance of reaching a solution. If a recount is raised in plenary, then Mahumapelo has threatened to effectively collapse the conference by calling for a rerun.

“If it can come to plenary, I can assure you now we have a mandate from our delegates this morning: we must call for a rerun of all the top six officials,” he said. 

In the event of a rerun, all 4 776 ANC voting delegates would have to recast their ballots all over again. The process could delay the conference by another day.

The issue of alleged “missing” ballots came because the election result numbers do not add up. There are 4 776 voting delegates. Mchunu received 2 336 votes, while Magashule got 2 360. There were 4 spoilt ballots and 8 absentations.

2 336 + 2 360 + 4 + 8 = 4 708 total votes counted for the SG position.

4 776 - 4 708 = 68 ballots that have not been counted.

The ANC elective conference steering committee is still in a meeting.

Ra'eesa Pather

Ra'eesa Pather

Ra’eesa Pather is a general news journalist with the Mail & Guardian’s online team. She cut her teeth at The Daily Vox in Cape Town before moving to Johannesburg and joining the M&G. She's written about memory, race and gender in columns and features, and has dabbled in photography. Read more from Ra'eesa Pather