Battle for ANC soul hots up
LOBBYISTS for both President Jacob Zuma and his deputy Kgalema Motlanthe are claiming early victories though the ANC members are still in the nomination process.
Most ANC branches have held meetings to nominate their leaders ahead of the provincial nomination conferences scheduled to sit at the end of November.
But both Zuma and Motlanthe seem to have pockets of overwhelming support that might lead to provincial nomination conferences having to vote for their preferred candidates. Those nominated, including Zuma and Motlanthe, will only accept nomination in December at the Mangaung conference.
So far in the Greater Johannesburg Region, Sowetan understands that eight branches have nominated Motlanthe for president. These include Ward 98 in Randburg though Ward 104 (Bramfischer), also in Randburg, nominated Zuma.
But a different picture has emerged in Eastern Cape and KwaZulu-Natal. In the Alfred Nzo Region, spokesman Monwabisi Mahlaba said "80%" of the branches that had already nominated had opted to re-elect the current top six, with Zuma and Motlanthe as president and deputy president, respectively.
"Branches are saying they want continuity of the current leadership. More than 80% of the branches that have completed nominations have expressed this view," he said.
In KwaZulu-Natal, known to be a Zuma power base, the president is understood to be in a comfortable position.
Sowetan understands that six branches have given Zuma the nod to return for another five years as leader of the ANC. In the same branches, former ANC Youth League president Malusi Gigaba has emerged as a strong candidate for a top-six position.