- At an ANC service delivery gathering in the North West on Saturday, ANC head of elections Fikile Mbalula campaigned strongly for a second term for Cyril Ramaphosa.
- Last week, Ramaphosa faced criticism from contender Zweli Mkhize, who despite not naming him, painted the ANC as in need of a change.
- Mbalula gave a contrary campaign address which spoke of Ramaphosa's successes, saying he should be protected and not isolated.
The ANC's head of elections, Fikile Mbalula, continued his batting for a second term for President Cyril Ramaphosa ahead of the national conference, saying he should not be isolated as some have alluded to.
Mbalula, who is running for the secretary-general position at the ANC's elective coreference, has placed himself at the centre of support for Ramaphosa.
Mbalula came to Ramaphosa's defence, saying he was the man for the job and committed to serving the country.
The ANC national executive committee member said there was a widespread perception Ramaphosa was out of touch and lacked public engagement and charisma.
A key campaigner for Ramaphosa's second term bid, Mbalula told North West ANC branches on Saturday the crowd gathered at the ANC's service delivery campaign event proved Ramaphosa was a man who listened.
"The president has always been available. We are building the organisation, and other comrades may not be happy about the outcome, but these conferences come and go, sometimes with scares, but we live beyond conferences. And comrades, we are going to win," Mbalula said.
"People say Ramaphosa is not a people's person, but he is, and you can see that here. He didn't go around saying he wanted to be chosen. We are the ones that are on the ground running."
Ramaphosa was in the North West on Saturday as part of the ANC's Letsema service delivery campaign. These events have turned into political praise gatherings for those backing him.
Mbalula told ANC branches and party supporters Ramaphosa could not be isolated and attacked.
He said contestations ahead of the conference were expected, but attacks on the president were unwarranted.
In reference to the Nasrec 2017 conference, the transport minister added its outcome was accepted, and the upcoming December conference would be no different.He said:
Ramaphosa is leading the ANC's nominations for presidency by 2 037 nominations compared to 916 for Zweli Mkhize.
The president has faced mounting pressure as probes into the 2020 robbery at his Limpopo Phala Phala farm steam along.
This week, the independent panel appointed by Parliament to ascertain whether Ramaphosa has a case to answer regarding the robbery will submit its report by 30 November.
Coupled with this probe, Ramaphosa is on the campaign trail to garner support for a second term as ANC president.
He faces contestation for the presidency from former health minister and national executive committee member Mkhize who has painted a dim picture of the ANC's failures under Ramaphosa.
Last week, Mkhize spoke at two campaign gatherings, one in Gauteng and the other in KwaZulu-Natal, where he described a leadership that was out of touch with citizens and their grievances.
He pointed to load shedding that had cost the ANC electoral support, unemployment and crime as the most significant factors that had to be changed by the ANC with a new leadership election at the national conference.
Mkhize said people were so upset about the electricity crisis they found it hard to take the ANC seriously.