Eastern Cape ANC divided on presidential hopefuls

2017-09-30 20:39
Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma and Cyril Ramaphosa. (Muntu Vilakazi, Gallo Images)

Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma and Cyril Ramaphosa. (Muntu Vilakazi, Gallo Images)

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East London - Eastern Cape regional secretaries are split over who should take over the reigns as the ANC president at the national elective conference in December.

Five of the eight regional secretaries who spoke to News24 on the sidelines of the Eastern Cape elective conference differed on their opinions of presidential hopefuls Cyril Ramaphosa and Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma.

OR Tambo secretary, Lulama Ngcukaitobi, who came with the largest delegation - over 340 - said that "branches are almost in agreement that the general understood tradition of succession in the organisation should be maintained to ensure some level of stability".

This "tradition" was that the deputy succeeded the president as leader of the party.

He was adamant that branches in his region saw Ramaphosa, who is ANC deputy president, as the right man to succeed President Jacob Zuma.

The Chris Hani, as well as Sarah Baartman regions, have also pronounced on Ramaphosa.

Chris Hani which came with 304 delegates said its 110 branches are united behind Ramaphosa, the regional secretary Lusanda Sizani told News24.

Scara Njadayi, secretary for Sarah Baartman, reiterated Ngcukaitobi's words adding that the established tradition of the ANC must not be tampered with.

"Ramaphosa must take over the reigns. We don’t want to see a situation where there is unnecessary contestation."

Deep crisis

Njadayi said they were also considering other people to form part of Ramaphosa's ticket including ANC treasurer General Zweli Mkhize and NEC member Lindiwe Sisulu. The region brought 81 delegates to the provincial conference.

The Amathole, as well as Joe Gqabi regions, did not outright pronounce on Dlamini-Zuma.

Amathole's Teris Ntuthu who oversees the third largest delegation - 249 - criticised those within the party who overlooked Dlamini-Zuma because of her association with President Zuma.

"We don’t see anything wrong... [with] Nkosazana as president. We think that those who are saying because she is [Zuma's] ex-wife are out of order," he said.

The Joe Gqabi region's Mfundo Bongela refused to pronounce on any candidate, saying they were behind outgoing provincial chair Phumulo Masualle - who is backed by Zuma supporters and by extension, Dlamini-Zuma.

ALSO READ: ANC's Masualle sidesteps questions about re-election

The Joe Gqabi region brought 95 delegates to the conference.

Nelson Mandela Bay secretary Themba Xathula said a mix was needed to rebuild the organisation.

The ANC in the province suffered a huge blow when it lost its historical ground in that region to the DA during the local government election in 2016.

Xathula said the region wanted experienced and young leadership to rebuild the organisation as it was in a "deep crisis".  

Read more on:    anc  |  nkosa­zana dlamini-zuma  |  cyril ramaphosa  |  east london

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