NDZ in early KZN lead

2017-10-24 13:40
Nkosa­zana Dlamini-Zuma.

Nkosa­zana Dlamini-Zuma. (File)

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Durban - Several branches in the KwaZulu-Natal ANC’s biggest regions have held their candidate nomination meetings and presidential hopeful Nkosazana DlaminiZuma is taking a commanding lead.

There were immediately claims of vote-rigging from supporters of her main rival for the party leadership, Cyril Ramaphosa.

A survey conducted by The Witness across several branches in the eThekwini and Moses Mabhida regions, where close to 40% of branches have concluded their general meetings, show Dlamini-Zuma is in the lead.

In the eThekwini region — which has 110 branches and is the biggest in the province and the entire country — all 30 branches that have held their meetings nominated Dlamini-Zuma as their candidate.

The trend was repeated in the province’s second biggest region, Moses Mabhida, which includes the city of Pietermaritzburg.

With about 10 of the 88 branches in Moses Mabhida having concluded their meetings, Ramaphosa is yet to receive a branch nomination — so far DlaminiZuma has made a clean sweep.

ANC leaders in both eThekwini and Moses Mabhida have confirmed that Dlamini-Zuma had been making significant strides since the opening of branch nomination processes a month ago.

“It appears as if almost all the branches that have already conducted their general meetings in the region have endorsed Comrade Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma. What has come out of these BGMs [branch general meetings] is confirmation of the level of confidence which people on the ground have in her,” said ANC MP Mervyn Dirks, who is from the Moses Mabhida region.

Dirks’ ward 32 branch in Woodlands, Pietermaritzburg, is one of the branches in the region that have overwhelmingly endorsed Dlamini-Zuma.

eThekwini regional secretary Bheki Ntuli confirmed that 30 branches out of the region’s 110 have so far concluded their BGMs.

“We are making good progress and what impresses us the most is the fact that everything went smoothly, with no major hiccups reported.

“I can further confirm that all the branches that have concluded their nominations have endorsed comrade Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma as their candidate,” he said.

While Ramaphosa supporters did not deny that their candidate was lagging behind, they have blamed his poor showing on “massive vote-rigging”.

To back up their claims the supporters yesterday circulated photographs of one of the BGMs that had taken place in uMshwathi — in the Moses Mabhida region — where they claimed the meeting was allowed to proceed in spite of not enough people attending to form a quorom.

“That’s Ward 11 BGM on Sunday — this was supposed to be 88 members to form a quorum but only 30 or 50 were present,” Ramaphosa supporters said on a WhatsApp group.

Spokesperson for the Ramaphosa faction Sthembiso Mshengu said they were in possession of evidence showing that there had been rigging at most of the eThekwini branches where BGMs had been concluded.

“I can confirm that there had been irregularities in about 90% of branches that had concluded their BGMs,” he said.

Both eThekwini regional secretary Bheki Ntuli and Moses Mabhida regional spokesperson Spha Khumalo rubbished the claims.

“As far as I know not a single person has launched a grievance. In fact, I would be surprised if anyone were to raise any such concerns given the transparency of the nomination processes,” Ntuli said.

Political analyst Bheki Mngomezulu agreed that Dlamini-Zuma was way ahead of Ramaphosa in terms of results from branches that have already concluded their BGMs.

“It is worth noting that KwaZulu-Natal’s biggest ANC branch, KwaXimba, has nominated Dlamini-Zuma.

“However, I must point out that it is still bit early to say whether Dlamini-Zuma will eventually prevail in the province,” he said.

KwaZulu-Natal will send the highest number of voting delegates — 870 — to the ANC’s December elective conference.

The Gauteng, Eastern Cape and the Northern Cape Provincial Executive Committees (PECs) have endorsed Ramaphosa.

The KwaZulu-Natal, Free State and North West PECs are backing Dlamini-Zuma while the rest of the provinces have at this stage left it to branches to decide.


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