Battle to lead the ANC hots up

Waghied Misbach and Eric Naki

Waghied Misbach and Eric Naki

The ANC nomination process started in earnest yesterday, with the ANC Youth League as the first to hold its nomination conference.

The league is expected to back ANC deputy president Jacob Zuma as the party's president.

The Western Cape ANC will finalise its nominations this weekend, but speculation is mounting that Thabo Mbeki will win the nomination.

However, chairman James Ngculu would not be drawn on the matter.

Although Mpumalanga is widely publicised as being behind Zuma, provincial secretary Lucas Mello refused to be drawn into speculating the exact position, saying the provincial general council will decide the position.

Gauteng had not yet decided who it supported but also pinned its hope on the outcome of its Sunday meeting.

Eastern Cape is Mbeki's safe province, but Zuma has made strong inroads into his support base with OR Tambo strongly behind him.

All 11 KwaZuluNatal branches have endorsed Zuma, while Free State and Limpopo are divided between the two leaders.

Most of the Northern Cape region is leaning towards Mbeki.

The position of North West is still unknown as both Mbeki and Zuma seem to enjoy equal support in the province.

Meanwhile, the nomination process for the ANC's top six leaders and the 60 additional members started yesterday with the ANCYL NEC meeting.