Oscar Mabuyane makes a clean sweep at ANC Eastern Cape conference

After a bruising battle at the ANC provincial conference for the post of Eastern Cape chairperson, Oscar Mabuyane was re-elected on Monday morning, with 150 votes between him and his opponent, Babalo Madikizela.

The Mabuyane slate made a clean sweep in the election of provincial officials. 

Mabuyane’s election was boosted by a majority in his home region of Chris Hani and that of the newly elected provincial secretary, Lulama Ngcukayitobi,  in the OR Tambo region. 

Mabuyane re-endorsed Cyril Ramaphosa for another term as president of the ruling party, adding that he expected the province to do the same when it emerged from its commission meetings set for Monday afternoon. 

Ramaphosa is likely to close the Eastern Cape conference with a victory lap similar to the one he made at the Mpumalanga provincial conference in March. This is the second province to put its weight behind Ramaphosa in the lead-up to the ANC’s national election conference in December.

The Mabuyane faction’s victory is likely to cause divisions that other national leaders could leverage in their aspirations for the top office. Those who have been watching it with keen interest include presidential hopeful Zweli Mkhize as well as deputy president hopefuls Paul Mashatile and Ronald Lamola. 

Mabuyane won 812 votes and Madikizela, 662. Ngcukayitobi, who is from the OR Tambo region, the biggest region in the Eastern Cape, was reelected with 807 votes versus 667 for his opponent, Teris Ntutu. Newly elected deputy provincial chairperson Mlungisi Mvoko garnered 812 votes against Xolile Nkompela’s 657, while deputy secretary Helen Sauls-August scored 805 votes compared with 663 for Weziwe Gxothiwe.

Zolile Williams, with 799 votes, beat Andile Lungisa with 673. Williams was elected provincial treasurer, but this raised eyebrows when it emerged that he was the municipal manager in Joe Gqabi municipality. The Municipal Structures Act section 56(a) states that municipal managers, as well as managers directly accountable to municipal managers, may not hold political office. Williams told journalists that he would resign from his position in the municipality.

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Lizeka Tandwa
Lizeka Tandwa
Lizeka Tandwa is a political journalist with a keen interest in local government.

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