Waiting game as last ANC provinces nominate

2012-11-30 23:05
(Picture: Beeld)

(Picture: Beeld)

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Cape Town - The registration of delegates for the Western Cape ANC's nomination conference finally got underway in Cape Town on Friday night.

Members of the party's national executive and provincial executive committees arrived back at a University of the Western Cape lecture hall for the nomination and voting process, after meeting behind closed doors.

It was understood that they had been verifying the credentials of delegates who had disputed their exclusion from the process.

The Western Cape has 170 branches. A total of 150 of these have qualified to attend the provincial conference because they have, according to rules, held their branch general meetings to nominate a delegate to go to the party's national elective conference in Mangaung next month.

Earlier in the day, delegates appeared divided on who they wanted to see elected as ANC president in Mangaung.

Some sang pro-Zuma songs, others chanted that it was time for the president to go.

Delegates and their supporters were told to take off T-shirts bearing the pictures of their preferred candidates. Some wore attire with images of Zuma's face, the words "anti-tribalism", or a list of their top six ANC officials printed on them.

This included Kgalema Motlanthe for president, Mathews Phosa for deputy president and Tokyo Sexwale for treasurer general.

No extension

In the North West, convenor of the province's Ngaka Modiri Molema region Priscilla Williams said the party's nomination conference had to start before midnight on Friday.

"We can't ask for... [an] extension. We want the conference to start today," Williams told delegates at the Kosmos community hall, Hartebeespoort Dam, on Friday night.

She said the African National Congress' national auditing team was busy verifying branches, to determine which branches and delegates qualified to participate in the conference.

"The national auditing team is busy with our reports. We can't continue without it."

Williams was updating delegates who had been waiting for the provincial general council to start since Friday morning.

This was after a group, led by provincial secretary Kabelo Mataboge, held a parallel conference in Mahikeng. Mataboge has been associated with the group calling for Deputy President Motlanthe to take the ANC's top job.

Williams said the national executive committee met with provincial leaders to resolve the matter.

Earlier, provincial spokesperson Kenny Morolong said the conference at the Kosmos hall was the one organised and endorsed by the provincial executive committee.

Provincial chairperson Supra Mahumapelo has reportedly been the chief campaigner for President Zuma's second term bid at Mangaung.

Delegates at the Kosmos hall sang "Msholozi [Zuma's clan name] for a second term" and other songs in support of Zuma. They held up two fingers signifying their support for his second term.

Many were dressed in yellow African National Congress-branded T-shirts. Some wore T-shirts with Zuma's face and "100 percent Zumantashe" (a conflation of the names of Zuma and ANC secretary general Gwede Mantashe) printed on them.

All positions contested

Northern Cape ANC members started to vote for their preferred candidates for Mangaung on Friday night.

Voting at the nomination conference in Kimberley started around 20:00. All positions in the ANC's top six were contested.

Branches had nominated Zuma and Motlanthe for party president.

There were three nominations for the post of deputy president - Motlanthe, ANC national executive committee (NEC) member Cyril Ramaphosa and Phosa.

Four nominations were made for national party chairperson - ANC NEC members Baleka Mbete, Thandi Modise, Thenjiwe Mtintso, and Lindiwe Sisulu.

Current ANC secretary general Mantashe, Fikile Mbalula and Modise were nominated for the secretary general post.

The deputy secretary general position drew four nominations from branches - Mbalula, Modise, Jesse Duarte, and Mantashe.

Three nominations were received from branches for the treasurer general position - Sisulu, Phosa and KwaZulu-Natal Premier Zweli Mkhize.


Meanwhile, delegates at the party's Eastern Cape conference said the nomination of ANC leaders by the party's members is being "forced" in favour of Zuma.

One delegate from the Eastern Cape's OR Tambo region, which this week voted unanimously for Deputy President Motlanthe to take control of the party, said "those" who supported Zuma knew which branches had not backed the ANC president.

Speaking on the sidelines of the party's nomination conference at the University of Fort Hare in Alice on Friday night, he said life was made "extremely difficult" for the region's delegates at the conference.

"We had all our credentials in order, but when we arrived those in power said no we were not properly verified," said the delegate, who spoke on condition of anonymity.

The province was selecting its candidates to stand for leadership positions at the ANC's national conference in Mangaung next month.

"They are manipulating this. They are forcing it in favour of Zuma. That is obvious," he continued.

"They have been making our lives difficult in a number of ways. For example, they did not allow us parking at the university and they kept us waiting most of the day while they verified us.

"It wasn't like this for the branches that supported Zuma."

The delegate said a culture of fear had gripped the party in recent years.

"If you don't support the person in power, you'll find yourself on the wrong side."

The ANC was no longer the party of old, he said, and was "no longer democratic".

"People are [living] in fear. If they don't support Zuma things will go wrong for them."

The OR Tambo region in Mthatha, the ANC's second-biggest region in the country, voted unanimously on Wednesday for Motlanthe to lead the party. The party's provincial leaders however rejected the decision.

Provincial secretary Oscar Mabuyane said the meeting was "irregular" and "not properly convened".

"So many branches in that region were stuck with disputes," he said.

"For the purposes of this conference, that meeting was out of equation in terms of guidelines."

All 107 delegates at the regional meeting had supported Motlanthe to take over as ANC president, Sexwale as his deputy, and Mbalula as secretary general.

Another delegate, from Buffalo City, said his branch, which had supported Motlanthe, had not been allowed to vote.

"I suppose our candidate is not in power, so what can we do?" the man said, also wanting to stay anonymous.

Earlier on Friday two delegates motivated a nomination for Zuma to continue his leadership of the party. Another two motivated Motlanthe to take the helm.

Many of the delegates in the auditorium in which the voting was taking place wore yellow shirts bearing Zuma's image and sang songs praising him.

Security guards, dressed in military fatigues, were controlling who was allowed into the meeting.

Voting for the province's candidates was still underway late on Friday night.

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