Lobby in E.Cape thinks Motlanthe ‘can do better’

2012-11-30 00:00

THE jury is still out as to who the ANC’s second biggest region — O.R. Tambo in the Eastern Cape — wants as leader of the ruling party after the Mangaung conference.

This comes after lobby groups for President Jacob Zuma and his deputy Kgalema Motlanthe each yesterday claimed that their choice for president enjoyed the majority support from the region’s branches.

The Eastern Cape, boasting 676 delegates, held its provincial nominations conference late yesterday.

The O.R. Tambo region had on Wednesday thrown its weight behind Motlanthe at a regional general council (RGC) in Mthatha. The nomination was in addition to the backing Motlanthe received from the ANC Youth League.

The support for Motlanthe runs counter to the provincial leaders’ preference for Zuma, who also has the backing from the ANC KwaZulu-Natal and the ANC Women’s League.

Yesterday, the Eastern Cape ANC therefore rejected the outcome of a unanimous vote by the O.R. Tambo region in Mthatha for Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe to lead the party.

Provincial secretary Oscar Mabuyane told Sapa the meeting, by the ANC’s second-largest region, was “irregular” and “not properly convened”.

But regional chairperson Than­dekile Sabisa said yesterday:“We feel that the challenges facing the organisation needs a person of the calibre of Kgalema Motlanthe to ensure that discipline in instilled and also ensure that the ANC gets the respect it deserves from all the people.”

He added that the O.R. Tambo region thought Motlanthe was “one of the leaders we think can do better”.

However, the pro-Zuma group dismissed the regional council as a factional meeting. “That meeting does not represent the delegates of the O.R. Tambo region … Delegates from the branches are to have a session before the start the provincial nominating conference,” deputy chairperson Pat Mdingi said.

Dumani Zozo, another Zuma lobbyist, said the so-called RGC was attended by ordinary members, not delegates.

Sabisa in turn scoffed at Zozo and Mdingi’s claims, insisting Motlanthe already had the backing of 107 out of 175 delegates at the RGC.

The largest region in the Western Cape, the Dullah Omar Region, has reportedly also backed Motlanthe.

The Western Cape, North West, Gauteng, Northern Cape, Mpumalanga and Free State are expected to hold their conferences today.

Limpopo postponed its conference, scheduled for Wednesday, to give branches a chance to nominate leaders. Yesterday, the provincial leadership said it would meet today’s nomination deadline.

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