Free State is ‘100% Zumantashe’

2012-11-30 08:00

ANC deputy president Kgalema Motlanthe and businessman Cyril Ramaphosa failed to get the nod from Free State branches who overwhelmingly opted to back current party chairperson Baleka Mbete for the position of deputy president of the ANC.

President Jacob Zuma, who has always enjoyed massive support from the province, was nominated unopposed.

Delegates sang pro-Zuma songs throughout the night, clad in “100% Zumantashe” T-shirts, a reference to their support for Zuma and Mantashe.

Of the 249 delegates, representing branches, who voted early this morning in Sasolburg, 235 voted for the nomination of Mbete, while branches nominated incumbent Free State Premier Ace Magashule for the position of chairperson with 233 votes.

Motlanthe and Ramaphosa, both nominated by branches for the position of deputy president got only 2 and 9 votes, respectively.

Branches also want ANC secretary-general Gwede Mantashe to remain in his current position after he received 223 votes at the nominations conference.

ANC stalwart Jessie Duarte also got the nod for the position of deputy secretary-general, with 235 delegates nominating her, while KwaZulu-Natal premier Zweli Mkhize was nominated with 229 votes for the position of treasurer-general ahead of the party elective conference in Mangaung next month.

The incident-free nomination conference started more than nine hours late and delegates waited for three hours after casting their votes to hear the results.

Earlier in the night an unperturbed Magashule told delegates that members who had taken the province’s current provincial executive committee to the Constitutional Court would not succeed in keeping Free State delegates from the national conference.

He said any outcome in the court, which is yet to adjudicate on the matter involving allegations that Magashule’s leadership committed fraud by using “ghost delegates” to vote for the Provincial Executive Committee, would not have any bearing on the 379 delegates attending the Mangaung conference as the Constitutional Court challenge was not brought against the branches but the members of the PEC.

It only took a minute for the Elections Agency – which ran the voting process – to announce that Zuma would not be on the ballot paper as he was not being opposed to lead the ANC beyond Mangaung.

“Jacob Zuma is the leader of the ANC and people should not be afraid to be associated with him. Those who are attacking comrade Zuma are attacking the ANC itself.

“I’m convinced that people in this country love Jacob Zuma,” said Magashule ahead of voting.

- City Press

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