ANC supports Zuma

2012-11-26 00:00

ANC delegates at the KZN nomination conference this weekend sent out a clear message that they rejected slate politics — being given a list of leaders to endorse — preferring to vote for whom they wanted.

However they also showed the strength of their support for President Jacob Zuma. Indications were that the more than 700 ANC branches in KZN unanimously nominated Zuma for a second term in office.

There were divisions, however, on who should be his deputy president. Some branches went against the Zuma slate and preferred Kgalema Motlanthe or Tokyo Sexwale to Cyril Ramaphosa.

This lead to the nominations having to be put to the vote. After a lengthy voting process that went on late into the night, it appeared that the Zuma slate was being picked by the majority of branches. Cyril Ramaphosa for Deputy President won over Kgalema Motlanthe.

Other nominations that received the majority of votes are believed to be Gwede Mantashe nominated for secretary-general, Jessie Duarte as his deputy and ANC KZN leader Zweli Mkhize as treasurer. However, this was not confirmed last night.

Besides Mkhize, branches had also proposed the names of Trevor Manuel and Matthews Phosa for treasurer. For the position of deputy secretary general a number of names were proposed including Fikile Mbalula, Blade Nzimande, Jessie Duarte, Thandi Modise and Naledi Pandor.

Addressing delegates at the start of the event, Mkhize who is the party’s provincial leader, warned that the Mangaung elective conference in December will not be derailed by leadership fights. “Blood will not be spilt on the floor at Mangaung nor will the ANC be tearing each other apart.”

Mkhize added that the conference in the ANC’s centenary year must be judged by generations to come as a watershed event. “The challenge to us delegates is to be highly disciplined and enthusiastic. “Yes there is a vibrancy of our songs but there must also be depth to our discussion,” he said.

According to Mkhize KZN had a special responsibility to maintain unity because of the size of its delegation. There will be about 4 500 voting delegates at Mangaung and at the last count 947 — the largest contingent — will be from KZN. He said that provincial leaders have been meeting to discuss unity in the party.

He added: “The challenge to us delegates is to be highly disciplined and enthusiastic. Yes there is the vibrancy of our songs but there must also be depth to our discussions. KZN must give direction.”

On the problems that beset the organisation, Mkhize urged delegates to reflect on what must be done to deal with tensions at branch level.

He added that the ANC as a ruling party was bound to attract people who joined for privileges.

“How do we move the ANC back to its roots, to its links with civil society, the mass democratic movement and business? These are the ... issues we should be debating.”

Mkhize believed the Manganung Conference must take a strong stand against opportunism within the party. “There cannot be a Hollywood style of managing the ANC. “Your ambition is not going to dictate who is going to lead us,” he said

He also condemned ill-discipline where comrades competed through the barrel of a gun. The ANC is not a place for hooligans and hitmen,” Mkhize said.

• nalini@witness.co.za

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