Mabuyane’s victory a boost for Ramaphosa’s re-election bid

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Oscar Mabuyane. Photo: Lulama Zenzile
Oscar Mabuyane. Photo: Lulama Zenzile


Eastern Cape premier Oscar Mabuyane has been re-elected as provincial ANC chairperson in a tense and fiercely contested conference on Monday.

Mabuyane’s faction enjoyed a clean sweep of all the top-five positions with Mlungisi Mvoko elected as deputy chairperson. Mabuyane’s slate also won the secretariat with the election of Lulama Ngcukayitobi as secretary and Helen Sauls-August as his deputy. Zolile Williams was elected treasurer against Andile Lungisa.

READ: Cyril vs Zweli in the Eastern Cape contest

The conference started on Saturday and faced a collapse following deadlocks over credentials which resulted in the delay of voting. Voting got under way in the early hours of Monday morning.

Mabuyane got 812 votes against his competitor Babalo Madikizela’s 602 votes after 1 477 ballots were counted. Two of these ballots were spoiled while 21 were quarantined [meaning votes were not counted because of unresolved issues about them, like being cast by delegates whose status had not been confirmed].

READ: ANC Eastern Cape is a showdown between Madikizela and Mabuyane

Mabuyane’s victory in the ANC’s second-largest region is a boost for President Cyril Ramaphosa’s bid to be re-elected in December. It is not clear who the Mabuyane faction will support as Ramaphosa’s deputy.

The outcome is a loss for former health minister Zweli Mkhize’s presidential campaign. Even though Madikizela had thrown his weight behind Ramaphosa, some in his faction were rallying behind Mkhize to be the next president.

ANC treasurer Paul Mashatile, who is acting secretary-general, appeared to be in support of Madikizela’s slate for his own ambition to be elected deputy president, probably against Justice and Correctional Services Minister Ronald Lamola.

Mabuyane said shortly after his election:

We are on the right track. We are looking forward to the 2024 elections and we will go back to our branches to build a strong ANC.

He admitted that the conference was challenging and they had had to go through a litmus test. “We spoke about stability and I’m happy to see that all the delegates are still here and prepared to be part of the conference.”

Ramaphosa is expected to address the conference this afternoon. The election for additional members is under way.


Sizwe sama Yende 


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