‘NDZ will be leader’

2017-11-03 13:45
Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma

Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma (File)

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The ANC leadership in KwaZulu-Natal has tabled presidential branch nomination results which show that Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma is far ahead.

Her backers are now saying she also has enough support across the country to win comfortably when the national ANC chooses its new leader next month.

A total of 247 of the 316 KZN branches which have concluded nomination processes have chosen Dlamini-Zuma to be the next party leader.

Only 69 have backed her arch-rival Cyril Ramaphosa to take over when President Jacob Zuma steps down as party leader next month.

The results from about half of the province’s branches confirm exclusive stories on the provincial voting patterns published in The Witness recently.

Briefing the media in Durban, members of the ANC KwaZulu-Natal provincial executive committee (PEC) interpreted the results as a death knell for Ramaphosa.

“The outcome of the contest is now a forgone conclusion — by now anyone who understands politics will be able to say who will be elected at the conference,” said ANC provincial spokesperson Mdumiseni Ntuli.

The results show Ramaphosa struggling to make inroads in the province’s biggest regions, such as eThekwini – where he is yet to win a ward with 57 of the 110 having concluded nominations.

The ANC deputy president only managed to win a single ward out the 60 that have concluded nomination processes in the Moses Mabhida region, which includes Pietermaritzburg.

Ramaphosa has only made inroads in smaller regions such as Abaqulusi which covers areas such as Vryheid.

Ntuli said Dlamini-Zuma was also receiving overwhelming support in provinces across the country.

“We already know that she is also leading in provinces such as Mpumalanga and the Free State.

“Our concern at the moment is not whether or not she will be elected ... it is more about whether those not elected at the conference will remain in the ANC,” he said.

“Our challenge as the movement is to find ways to reach out to comrades who have been supporting other candidates ... we are saying to them ‘let’s all remain in the ANC’, even after the conference,” he said.

KwaZulu-Natal will send the highest number of representatives — 870 — to the December elective conference where delegates will choose the new ANC president. The Mpumalanga and Free State provinces are also among provinces that will send large numbers to the conference. Ntuli said an agreement had been reached for the two provinces to back Zuma. “We will be having a big rally in Mpumalanga before the end of the month where branches will wish Dlamini-Zuma well for the conference,” he said.

The PEC tabled the results amid growing complaints from Ramaphosa supporters about processes being rigged at branch general meetings (BGMs) to exclude anyone opposed to Dlamini-Zuma.

Several Ramaphosa supporters claimed that they had not been allowed to vote in BGMs that are reported to have endorsed Dlamini-Zuma.

However, PEC member and eThekwini region secretary Bheki Ntuli denied the accusations, saying the region had so far received a single objection.

“We have only received one complaint — from a branch in uMhlanga,” he said.

Ntuli said some of the Ramaphosa supporters had not attended the BGMs after realising that they did not have enough numbers to sway things in their favour. “These are people who understand how things in the ANC work — they make calculations and if they realise that the numbers are not in their favour then they [do not] attend the meeting. They then try to make it look like they were blocked,” he said.

However, Sthembiso Mshengu, the spokesperson for Ramaphosa’s campaign in the province, said he was in possession of evidence showing widespread rigging in BGMs.

“We have already written letters to Luthuli House about the matter,” he said.

ANC spokesperson Zizi Kodwa said those not happy with the manner in which BGMs were proceeding should lodge their objections with the PEC and not the national leadership.

Read more on:    pietermaritzburg  |  nkosazana ­dlamini zuma

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