Johannesburg – The ANC in Gauteng looks set to officially nominate Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa when the province holds its provincial general council next weekend.
Ramaphosa’s rival, Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, has performed poorly in the province, getting less than 60 branch nominations, with the process near completion.
Despite hard campaigning, the other presidential hopefuls have failed to perform, with only two branches not nominating the two front runners.
An official tally of the nomination process shows that Dlamini-Zuma has only managed 55 branch nominations while Ramaphosa received a whopping 383.
Ninety-three percent of the branches have completed their branch general meetings to choose presidential candidates to replace President Jacob Zuma at the December elective conference.
Gauteng was expected to nominate Ramaphosa after the provincial executive committee sent a letter to regions in October, backing him as its only candidate for party president.
Insiders in the Dlamini-Zuma campaign were banking on getting at least a 100 branch nominations from the province, ahead of the fiercely-contested presidential race.
They expected to dominate the Ekurhuleni region, where Mzwandile Masina has vowed to resign as mayor and chair of the region if Ramaphosa wins the presidency and if the majority of the branches in his region failed to nominate Dlamini-Zuma – his preferred candidate.
“It means I am not a leader. I can’t lead people who don’t listen to me . . . This is not just a presidential race, it’s politics,” Masina said in October.
There are only nine branches which are yet to hold their meetings in the region. Dlamini-Zuma has snapped up 27 branches and Ramaphosa got the nod from 70. The 27 was the highest number of branches in a Gauteng region that backed Dlamini-Zuma.
The NDZ17 campaign was also hoping to make inroads in the Sedibeng region, that includes the Vaal. However, she only managed six nominations while Ramaphosa got 76.
The province is hoping that its preferred candidate will win this time around after backing Kgalema Motlanthe in 2012 and Thabo Mbeki in 2007.
They both lost to Zuma — earning the province the title of “never backing a winner”.
Gauteng is expected to bring 508 delegates to the elective conference that gets underway from December 16 to 20 at the Nasrec expo centre, south of Johannesburg.
Meanwhile, ANC presidential hopefuls Zweli Mkhize, Lindiwe Sisulu and Dlamini-Zuma have pulled out of Daily Maverick’s The Gathering event yesterday.
The three told the organisers on Monday, November 20, that they would not be attending.
A representative from Dlamini-Zuma’s office told News24 that she excused herself from the event due to an “ANC deployment which was extended, and other engagements in her calendar had to be moved”.
Mkhize’s office told News24 that the ANC treasurer-general was sorry he could not make it to the event as he had an “engagement he just couldn’t miss”.
Welcoming guests, Eyewitness News’ editor-in-chief Katy Katopodis said: “It was disappointing, but you can make your own conclusions as to why they did not attend.”
Speakers at the event, including EFF leader Julius Malema, DA leader Mmusi Maimane and former finance minister Pravin Gordhan, are expected to discuss the ANC’s elective conference in December.
One of the speakers, ANC stalwart Mavuso Msimang said the country’s politicians had let the nation down.
“That confidence has been seriously been misplaced,” said Msimang.
“I do not know what is going to happen in December, but it is going to be an election on faulty ground. My fear is that [beyond] December, if someone wins, the status quo will remain. “If Cyril wins — I do not know if he will bet with the very thieves that he abandoned.”
Msimang said a new way had to be found create “an organisation in which people take a more active role in politics”.
Msimang said the manner in which the ANC elected its leaders was fraught with problems which allowed factions, slates and gatekeeping.
“The manner in which the ANC elected its leaders was an ancient system where power was not a factor and the important thing was to get [members] to elect people that would lead the people.
Msimang said the part of the reason for the meeting of the recent consultative conference spearheaded by the party’s veterans was to “overhaul the entire system because it was not working”.
Discussing the topic with Msimang was former ANC MP Makhosi Khoza, who said blame for the state the ANC finds itself in should not be placed on President Jacob Zuma alone.
“It is not just about the individual and I believe that it boils down to the moral leadership crisis – the leadership of the ANC as a collective. I would not like to apportion blame to only President Jacob Zuma. They are all equally to blame for allowing the rot and the politics of patronage to take over,” Khoza said.
“Within the ANC there is a culture of collective responsibility. Within the caucus, we raised issues but once the majority says that we have to defend Nkandla; when you go into the chambers, you cannot deviate from that decision made by the caucus.”
She said there were MPs who had become very unpopular, including Gordhan and Derek Hanekom, because they had raised issues within the ANC caucus.
“Corruption is not a victimless crime – it has victims and we are victims of it.”
She said among some of those most affected by corruption were social grants recipients “who get money deducted from their accounts illegally”.
She said corruption was at the centre of the disinvestment in the country.
“I honestly do not think the ANC’s elective conference in December is going to deliver…”
Without going into details Khoza said civil society was working on establishing a coalition movement that would be an alternative political home for South Africans. — AFP