Gauteng ANC defends nomination of Motlanthe before consulting branches

2012-10-10 13:46

The Gauteng ANC leadership has defended its decision to nominate its preferred national ANC leadership candidates before the party’s branches have had their say.

On Sunday, provincial ANC chairperson Paul Mashatile announced that the provincial executive committee (PEC) had nominated Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe as its choice of party president at the party’s elective conference in Mangaung in December.

Both Tokyo Sexwale and Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma were nominated for deputy president, while secretary-general Gwede Mantashe and ANC strategist Joel Netshitenzhe got the nod for the position of secretary.

Thandi Modise and Naledi Pandor were nominated for national chairperson, and Mashatile for national treasurer.

However, Gauteng’s 476 branches are yet to convene meetings to nominate preferred leaders, which will culminate in a provincial nominations conference at the end of November, where a consolidated list of names will be drawn.

Gauteng ANC secretary David Makhura defended the move, saying the PEC was entitled to a view ahead of Mangaung as it had 20 votes at the elective conference.

“Branches may or may not accept that view,” he said.

Similarly, he dismissed claims that the nomination of two candidates for most of the top six ANC positions was a sign of divisions in his leadership collective.

He said this was done to avoid slates – which are fixed and mutually exclusive leadership lists, as happened in the build-up to the highly contested 2007 ANC national conference that elected President Jacob Zuma – to allow for flexibility in nominations.

“We are very pleased that we didn’t end up with six names,” he said.

However, Makhura said the province will have to agree on six names only by the end of November.

Gauteng ANC head of communications Nkenke Kekana said branches will still determine who should lead, rather than lobby groups.

“Polokwane committed a big sin because lobby groups were in charge of determining who must lead. Lobby groups are (now) frustrated because there is a lot of money being thrown around (to try and buy influence),” Kekana said.

Makhura was part of the meeting of the Gauteng provincial working committee with its KwaZulu-Natal counterpart in Durban on Monday.

KwaZulu-Natal, the party’s biggest province with 974 votes in Mangaung, wants Zuma to be re-elected.

Makhura described the mood of Monday’s meeting as “jolly” and “comradely”, and said all those who attended were open to persuasion.

The two provinces did reveal their leadership preferences, he said, but agreed that the nominations hinged on the branches.

“We agreed with KwaZulu-Natal not to allow leadership preferences to become acrimonious and create unnecessary tensions,” he said.

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