Branches nominate JZ for ANC presidency

Canaan Mdletshe

Canaan Mdletshe

ANC deputy president Jacob Zuma's "election cavalcade" will stop at KwaDukuza on the KwaZulu-Natal north coast on Friday - hardly a week after a mysterious list favouring President Thabo Mbeki for ANC president emerged from the area.

The list excludes Zuma as a potential candidate for the ANC's December conference. The area is also home to the Mhlongo brothers - Siyanda and Phillip. The two are staunch Mbeki supporters.

The brothers made headlines recently when they made controversial remarks in relation to the ANC's succession battle.

They said: "This country cannot be led by a rapist, who is manipulated by Indians."

Their comments were aimed at Zuma who is known to have strong links with controversial businessman, Vivian Reddy. Zuma's supporters were outraged and called for the two to be suspended. They were later reinstated by a disciplinary committee headed by MP Kader Asmal.

Vusi Mhlongo, the ANC's Greater KwaDukuza deputy regional secretary, said yesterday that Zuma's visit had nothing to do with "any list".

He said Zuma will be present at the request of the community. He will witness 200 families benefiting from a poverty alleviation project co-hosted by maskandi music group, Izingane Zoma, and Zuma.

Meanwhile, Zuma's presidential aspirations were boosted after six branches in KwaMashu township, outside Durban, said his name was at the top of their lists.

The lists place Zuma as president; Kgalema Motlanthe, deputy president; Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, national chairman; Gwede Mantashe, secretary-general; Baleka Mbete for deputy secretary and Mathew Phosa as treasurer-general.

The ANC regional secretariat yesterday distanced itself from the list.

"Only branches in good standing are entitled to make nominations, not the sub-regions. The declaration by the sub-region is an attempt to confuse and mislead branch members."