Names touted in last-minute discussions ahead of hotly-contested ANC Gauteng conference

2018-07-20 07:32
Gauteng Premier David Makhura. (Moeletsi Mabe, Gallo Images, Sunday Times, file)

Gauteng Premier David Makhura. (Moeletsi Mabe, Gallo Images, Sunday Times, file)

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The ANC Gauteng's regions are still embroiled in discussions about who should lead the province as the party prepares to kick off its 13th provincial congress.

It is widely expected that outgoing acting chairperson David Makhura will receive overwhelming support from the ANC's branches in South Africa's economic hub.

READ: Bid to halt ANC Gauteng conference struck off court roll for lack of urgency

Around 1 600 delegates from across Gauteng's five regions are to gather for the three-day conference to elect a new top leadership and discuss their vision for the ANC in the province and the 2019 national elections.

It’s understood that some regional leaders in Tshwane, Sedibeng and Johannesburg endorsed Makhura for chairperson, Gauteng education MEC Panyaza Lesufi as his deputy, former West Rand chairperson Boysie Maneli as secretary, Dr Betty Dikgamela as deputy secretary and former city of Joburg Mayor Parks Tau as treasurer.

However, some have rubbished this list, which was being circulated on social media late on Thursday evening as nothing more than a "factional decision".

Heated contest

They insisted that debates over positions would be negotiated right until voting commences at the conference.

"The only thing we are giving those people is Makhura as chairperson - that we all agree on," said one regional leader, who spoke to News24 on the condition of anonymity.

READ: It's youth vs 'old' ahead of the ANC Gauteng conference

There has been a heated contest for the deputy chairperson position, with regions such as Ekurhuleni and Tshwane throwing their might behind former youth league leader and economic development MEC Lebogang Maile, while others want to see education MEC Panyaza Lesufi taking on the role.

Former mayor of Emfuleni Jacob Khawe's name has been touted as the potential provincial secretary, with some arguing that he would not be contested.

However, the list that was shared named Maneli, whose leadership saw the West Rand becoming one of the first regions in the country to throw its weight behind now ANC president Cyril Ramaphosa during the race for party's national leadership last year.

Although outgoing provincial secretary Hope Papo did not feature on some the slates circulating on social media, he is said to be keen to elected to the same position and continue serving the province.

"I really think there might some surprises at this conference," a delegate who also did not want to be named told News24, saying he believed claims that former Tshwane ANC chairperson and mayor Kgosientso "Sputla" Ramokgopa's name might come from the floor during the three-day conference.

"If Sputla stands up, that might complicate things - Tshwane and Ekurhuleni might form a power bloc that leads to a serious upset."

Ramokgopa has been reluctant to speak to the media on claims that he would stand. Some members have said he showed interested in the race far too late and his campaign never gained traction across the province.

Challenges

This week, the outgoing provincial executive committee led by Makhura, said it was confident ahead of the conference. This, despite threats to drag the province to court in an attempt to halt the conference from going ahead.

One such attempt was foiled on Wednesday when the South Gauteng High Court in Johannesburg struck off the roll an application by disgruntled Ekurhuleni members.

Those members wanted the conference halted until a bid they had launched, to have the regional conference reviewed, has been resolved.

Some party members in Sedibeng had also served the party with a notice to challenge the regional conference's outcomes, but Makhura said they would defend the party at every turn as they had gone to great lengths to resolve the numerous disputes which resulted in the postponement of all regional conferences for a week.

Gauteng kicks off its conference at the St George's Hotel in Irene, Tshwane on Friday.

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Read more on:    anc  |  david makhura  |  johannesburg  |  politics

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