Gwede Mantashe booted off slate of Dlamini-Zuma contestants
The Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma (NDZ) faction has dumped ANC secretary-general Gwede Mantashe from their slate.
The faction wanted Mantashe to replace current party chairwoman Baleka Mbete at the ANC elective conference to be held in December.
While discussions are still ongoing about who should be nominated to what position, the NDZ lobbyists told Sowetan that during one of their caucuses this week, they took a decision to chuck Mantashe out because it was clear he supports Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa.
There are currently six ANC presidential hopefuls but Ramaphosa and Dlamini-Zuma are seen as frontrunners.
The NDZ faction has put Mpumalanga leader David Mabuza as her deputy and he also features in the Ramaphosa slate. Ramaphosa lobbyists are also meeting with Mabuza in an effort to win him over.
So far, Mabuza has not come out publicly on who he backs to succeed President Jacob Zuma, instead preaching that the ANC needed to elect leaders who will unite the party.
Of all nine provinces, Mpumalanga is seen as solid with no factions and all candidates want the province's support.
Mpumalanga is the second-largest province after KwaZulu-Natal in the ANC.
The NDZ list includes Free State leader Ace Magashule as secretary-general, as well as Nathi Mthethwa and Eastern Cape premier Phumulo Masualle as first deputy secretary-general and second deputy secretary-general respectively.
An NDZ lobbyist from KZN said this was sort of a final list but they were open to be persuaded otherwise.
Asked why they left Zweli Mkhize and Lindiwe Sisulu off their slate, he said they will be added as additional members.