Some of the ANC’s branches have given an indication of what is likely to happen at the party’s national list conference, as the lists of nominees for MP and MPL posts have excluded controversial figures – with a few exceptions.
Most of these branches, whose members have submitted their choice of names of party members to serve in Parliament after next year’s general elections, appear to have nominated President Cyril Ramaphosa, his deputy David Mabuza and the minister in the presidency responsible for planning, monitoring and evaluation, Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, for Parliament.
Interestingly, certain branches opted to nominate former president Jacob Zuma for Parliament, while some rejected the nomination of Women Minister and ANC Women’s League president Bathabile Dlamini.
Some Mpumalanga ANC branches are hitting back at Mabuza, accusing him of having sold out at the party’s national elective conference, held at Nasrec, south of Johannesburg, last year.
They are infuriated by Mabuza’s last-minute U-turn, which saw him support Ramaphosa for ANC president at the conference.
During the build-up to the elective conference, the Dlamini-Zuma camp banked on Mpumalanga’s backing.
The province had sent the highest number of delegates to the conference to support Dlamini-Zuma to be the ANC leader.
The branches are also unhappy that Mabuza allegedly “ordained” Mandla Ndlovu to succeed him as the provincial chairperson.
Angry ANC members have now taken their frustrations to Mabuza’s door by refusing to nominate him during the list process.
Instead, ward 12 in the Thembisile Hani Local Municipality – situated in the Nkangala District in Mpumalanga – defied the ANC provincial leadership and opted to endorse Zuma for Parliament.
The ANC’s branch acting secretary in ward 12, Bonginkosi Nkosi, said Mabuza had misled them.
“DD [Mabuza’s nickname] is not an honest man. He cannot continue leading South Africa. He does not deserve to be the deputy president of the country,” Nkosi said.
The ward 12 branch resolved at its general meeting last weekend to nominate Ramaphosa, Zuma and Dlamini-Zuma for Parliament.
“We decided not to nominate DD Mabuza because he is undermining branches. We are hitting back at him. He has ordained Mandla Ndlovu to succeed him as the provincial chairperson,” said Nkosi.
“He is using his deployment as the deputy president to interfere in the election of provincial leaders and in the nomination list process.”
Nkosi said Zuma was still an ANC member in good standing. “He can still be deployed to Parliament. That was our argument.”
He accused Lillian Shabangu, an ANC councillor in the Thembisile Hani municipality who was deployed to the region, of running away with the branch meeting package after members of that branch rejected the nomination of Mabuza.
“She left on the pretext that she had an urgent matter to attend to and never came back. As a result, we could not conclude our business because we did not sign the meeting package,” said Nkosi.
Fanny Sithole, a branch secretary from ward 2 in Emalahleni Local Municipality, said the bulk of ANC members did not want Mabuza to be the country’s second in command.
“It will be a problem if this country is led by that calibre of leader,” Sithole said, adding that the branch wanted Minister of International Relations and Cooperation Lindiwe Sisulu to be number two on the nominations list.
However, acting ANC provincial secretary Lindiwe Mabona-Ntshalintshali told City Press that Mabuza might be nominated by other provinces.
“It is only these branches that have rejected him; other branches have not rejected him.”
Mpumalanga has about 400 branches.
Mabona-Ntshalintshali said the ANC in the province would not be angry with branches that had rejected Mabuza.
“Everybody has a right to nominate and to be nominated. Let us allow everybody to nominate.”
In Gauteng, the Nicholas Molokwane branch in Dobsonville, Soweto, declined to nominate Dlamini and, instead, opted to nominate Ramaphosa and Mabuza.
Branch secretary Fred Mokoko defended the decision, saying there was nothing untoward about it.
“The reason was not malicious. It was about those who were afforded the opportunity to prioritise certain names. In the prioritisation of names within our branch, Dlamini may not have been nominated.
“In our view, there is nothing untoward about it.”
Mokoko said there was a view that comrades untainted by scandal, and the youth, should be afforded an opportunity to represent the ANC in Parliament and provincial legislatures.
Gauteng Premier David Makhura, who is also the ANC’s provincial chairperson, said the province had taken a unified, mature approach and would not allow space for silliness to prevail.