Can talks of a unity leadership election succeed at Gauteng ANC provincial conference?

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Panyaza Lesufi and Lebogang Maile at the Gauteng ANC provincial conference.
Panyaza Lesufi and Lebogang Maile at the Gauteng ANC provincial conference.
Panyaza Lesufi
  • The Gauteng ANC conference saw a delayed start on Saturday morning. 
  • Talks about a possible unity slate for Panyaza Lesufi and Lebogang Maile dominated discussions at the gathering in Benoni. 
  • Lesufi and Maile were both touted as chairperson by delegates at the conference on Friday. 

Political meetings involving regional leaders at the ANC Gauteng provincial conference fuelled speculation on Saturday about the possibility of Panyaza Lesufi and Lebogang Maile running on a united slate. 

The provincial conference, taking place in Benoni, was delayed on Saturday morning, with no word on when credentials would be adopted.

Nominations for leadership positions also remained unclear by midday. 

News24 understands that meetings were held involving leaders from the ANC's five regions. 

The meetings were dominated by discussions over the possibility of a slate which would unite Maile and Lesufi's camps. 

Both men were expected to be nominated for the chairperson position. 

News24 was informed that those seeking a unity slate wanted Lesufi nominated unopposed for the chairperson position, while Maile would be elected as his deputy. 

But there is resistance to this idea.

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Those pushing for Maile in Ekurhuleni told News24 that there's no possibility of regional leaders agreeing to a unity slate. 

"We are not going to support it. Everyone is against it. Our slate is uniting the ANC in Gauteng," said an insider with knowledge of the talks.

News24 was also told that pushing a unity slate was a ruse to help Lesufi and not the party. 

Ekurhuleni's push for Maile is driven by the region's former chairperson and current provisional leader, Mzwandile Masina. 

Thembinkosi TK Nciza, the regional secretary for Ekurhuleni, is running for provincial secretary. 

Masina said on Friday that it was Maile's time to lead the province. 

Several names had been touted for the different positions in the province. 

Lesufi's slate consists of the current deputy provincial secretary Nomantu Nkomo-Ralehoko as the deputy chairperson. 

Thulani Kunene, the regional secretary in Sedibeng, was proposed for the provincial secretary position in Lefusi's slate. 

Nominations for Saturday would prove the deciding factor on whether changes to the slates were successful. 

Voting was also expected to take place on Saturday night. 

The conference was set to close on Sunday with an address by ANC leader Cyril Ramaphosa.

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