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'Do-or-die for ANC on leaders'

By Ngwako Modjadji | 2017-06-19 14:56:05.0

As the race to succeed President Jacob Zuma heats up, the ANC in Gauteng has admitted that a lot was at stake in the upcoming ANC national elective conference.

In a clear reference to an ANC faction loyal to Zuma, it warned yesterday that the ruling party risks losing the 2019 general election if a faction wins the conference at the expense of uniting the majority of ANC members.

Gauteng ANC provincial secretary Hope Papo told delegates at the party's greater Johannesburg regional policy conference that the national elective conference would be a do or die for the party.

"It is not a normal conference because we have suffered setbacks nationally as a movement," Papo said.

In electing leadership, Papo said, the ANC should be guided by practices such as generational mix and unity.

"Anybody who thinks they should lobby hard and go to the national conference to win at all costs lives in a dream land.

"Any grouping or faction which wins the conference at the expense of uniting the majority of our members and supporters risk the organisation electoral defeat in 2019.

"We should go to conference to elect leadership taking into consideration what the supporters of the ANC think."

The ANC in the province, which is known to be anti-Zuma, is planning to embark on research to ask ANC supporters who they think should be ANC leader and head of state.

Mpumalanga ANC secretary Mandla Ndlovu disagreed, saying Papo's remarks were a problem. "We will not support any slate but the ANC."

This is despite the fact that the ANC in the province under the stewardship of David Mabuza - one of Zuma's strongest allies - is on the side of the faction which wants Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma to be the next ANC leader .

Nominations for positions officially open in September.