Gauteng education MEC Panyaza Lesufi has been elected deputy chairperson of the ANC in the province after a close contest over what was the most sought after position in the elective conference.
Lesufi narrowly defeated economic development MEC Lebogang Maile who received 601 votes to Lesufi’s 623.
During eleventh hour negotiations among regions, Lesufi teamed up with former Johannesburg regional chairperson Parks Tau who had initially been in the running for the same position.
Tau — who was newly elected chairperson David Makhura’s preferred candidate for deputy — has now been elected treasurer after reaching an agreement with Lesufi’s camp.
Those who supported Lesufi’s campaign believed he was the best candidate to lead the ANC to the 2019 elections because of the public popularity and affection he enjoys, mainly because of his work in the education department.
Lesufi has an extensive record in government, having worked as a special adviser in the department of basic education and as spokesperson for basic education minister Angie Motshekga.
Delivering his political report to about 1 200 delegates attending the provincial conference on Friday, Makhura lauded Lesufi’s work in the education department, saying it was one of the best performing in Gauteng.
Embattled Emfuleni mayor Jacob Khawe was elected secretary of the province beating West Rand District mayor Boyce Maneli.
Khawe’s deputy is former agriculture MEC Nomantu Nkomo-Ralehoko, who resigned from the position in 2009 following controversy over a government Mercedes Benz which was stolen from her house while in use by her husband.
The next contest will be to fill the additional provincial executive committee (PEC) positions. Those who belonged to the three camps backing either Makhura, Lesufi or Maile will be vying for positions on the PEC to ensure their group’s interests are represented.
Nominations and elections for additional members are expected to take place today.