Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa has emerged as the Eastern Cape’s firm favourite to become ANC president at the governing party’s December conference.
Out of 527 branches in the Eastern Cape’s eight regions, 423 nominated Ramaphosa. Only 61 nominated Dr Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, who came in second place for the position of party president, followed by Dr Zweli Mkhize at third place with 38.
This emerged at the ANC Eastern Cape special provincial general council in East London City Hall. It was the first appearance of delegates from the warring faction of the ANC since they had beaten each other with chairs at the controversial provincial conference held in September.
Mkhize, who was present at the provincial general council to deliver a message from the national executive committee got the most votes to become Ramaphosa’s deputy, with 193 votes – a small margin ahead of David Mabuza, who garnered 190 votes for that position.
Surprisingly, even in regions where Dlamini-Zuma was believed to be enjoying support, such as Joe Gqabi, Nelson Mandela Bay and Amathole, she did not do well. Ramaphosa also snatched two of those regions.
In Amathole, Dlamini-Zuma was nominated by 45 branches while 34 wanted Ramaphosa. In Joe Gqabi, Ramaphosa was nominated by 22 and Dlamini-Zuma did not get support from a single branch. Nelson Mandela Bay had 25 branches nominating Ramaphosa and eight wanted Dlamini-Zuma.
But it was the OR Tambo region, the second biggest region in the ANC after KwaZulu-Natal, that delivered the heaviest blow to Dlamini-Zuma. Not a single branch nominate her. Ramaphosa received the nod from 115 branches.
Naledi Pandor, who was preferred by Ramaphosa for the position of party deputy president, came third after Mkhize and Mabuza, getting 59 branches behind her.
Meanwhile Gwede Mantashe led the pack for the position of national chairperson, with 416 – the same number of branches garnered by Senzo Mchunu for the position of secretary-general. Zingiswa Losi, who is also the deputy president of Cosatu, was the favourite for the position of deputy secretary-general, with 172 branches nominating her.
Paul Mashatile got the highest number of votes to be the next treasurer-general, with 449 branches nominating him.