Ramaphosa voters switching camps, claims North West ANC chair

2017-12-17 17:18
North West Premier Supra Mahumapelo. (Netwerk24)

North West Premier Supra Mahumapelo. (Netwerk24)

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Johannesburg - North West ANC chairperson Supra Mahumapelo says he is confident his province's preferred presidential candidate Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma will emerge victorious in the party's leadership race. 

He said there were Cyril Ramaphosa delegates who were switching camps, and other delegates who supported other presidential candidates, like Mathews Phosa and Jeff Radebe, joining them.

"We have spoken to some of them and they say the reason for them is to now support Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma."

Conference saved

ANC provincial chairpersons held two emergency meetings on Saturday night and Sunday morning to save the conference from collapsing amid disputes over credentials.

Mahumapelo told News24 on Sunday that chairpersons met over the last two days to ensure the smooth running of the conference following a delay over credentials on Saturday night, with outgoing ANC national chairperson Baleka Mbete saying it needed "cleaning up".

Also read: ANALYSIS: Did Ramaphosa just snatch the ANC presidency?

There were fears that the conference could collapse following allegations of tampering with branch delegates and threats of legal challenges.

"There have been discussions amongst ourselves, among provincial chairpersons. As late as a day before yesterday, we met to decide how... province by province... we have a smooth conference," Mahumapelo said. 

"This morning we also met briefly and we agreed that if there are problems we would have to prevail without throttling the delegates, by just showing them the importance that things go smoothly."

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They also told delegates that disagreements must not result in collapsing the conference, as the image of the ANC was at stake.

The majority of delegates therefore approved the credentials during its first closed plenary on Sunday. There were a few disputes, but the credentials were adopted, with the final tally at 4776 voting delegates.

The Dlamini-Zuma camp suffered a huge blow with numbers for key provinces revised down. North West was the biggest casualty, losing 92 delegates due to nullified branch meetings. KwaZulu-Natal lost 66 delegates and the Free State lost 54.

Mahumapelo though was still very confident that his province's preferred candidate would prevail.

"We are not arrogant. We are going to triumph but we can't be triumphalists.

"You must expect a margin of not less than 700 [votes] in favour of Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma."

Former KZN chairperson Sihle Zikalala was also brimming with confidence.

Losses for Ramaphosa too

Ramaphosa also suffered losses in the revised credentials, with Limpopo losing 76 votes, and the Western Cape losing 46.

A final tally puts Dlamini-Zuma losing by 218 votes.

Mahumapelo said their team would be willing to work under Ramaphosa should their preferred candidate lose.

They met with both candidates to assure them they would work with whoever wins the presidential race.

"To both of them we said we are going to work with anyone one of you who is elected," he said.

"Tomorrow when the results are announced we are going to immediately be meeting with the new president, and the one who did not make it. That's the democracy of the African National Congress. You can't die because your candidate didn't make it."

Visit our special report, #ANCVotes, for all the news, analysis and opinions about the ANC’s national elective conference.

 

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