Last-minute horse trading by ANC Gauteng factions
Last night, three of the five regions of ANC Gauteng were locked in talks trying to find consensus over the position of deputy chairman.
Sowetan understands that Tshwane, Johannesburg and Ekurhuleni were seeking a solution over the position that is contested by economic development MEC Lebogang Maile, his education counterpart Panyaza Lesufi and former Johannesburg regional chairman Parks Tau.
This happens as the provincial conference is due to start this morning in Irene outside Pretoria.
ANC Johannesburg region spokesman Jolidee Mantongo confirmed yesterday that the three regions had gone to the negotiating table.
"It is negotiations. Whoever they bring to the table must be a competent person. If they bring somebody who is not competent we will not agree," Mantongo said.
The Johannesburg region wants Maile and Tau to form part of the top five.
"It is not a winner-takes-all. We will accept if they don't accept our proposal."
ANC Ekurhuleni region spokesman Sonnyboy Masingi said the region would propose Lesufi should take up the position of treasurer.
"The meeting will be attended by regional chairpersons secretaries. They will be able to find each other."
Masingi said the plan was to have Maile, Lesufi and Tau to not contest each other.
"It means we will have three groupings. We only have two groupings in the ANC. We will convince [the three candidates] that we should agree on a candidate who was voted unanimously," he said.
However, Masingi said if the three of them rejected the proposal, then they would have to face an election.
Ekurhuleni, which could influence the outcome of the conference as it would be sending the biggest delegation, has nominated Maile for deputy chair. The region also backs Emfuleni mayor Jacob Khawe for secretary .
Masingi said Ekurhuleni was in favour of Lesufi becoming treasurer.
ANC Tshwane regional spokesman Bafuze Yabo said no region stood any chance to dominate the conference.
"It [the meeting of regions] is going to be meeting of minds. It is democracy in action. It is [a] big conference. No one region can win it," Yabo said.
Tshwane has yet to formally announce its preferred candidates. Sedibeng region has nominated Lesufi for deputy provincial chairman. It wants Hope Papo to remain provincial secretary and West Rand district municipality mayor Boyce Maneli to be his deputy.
Gauteng premier David Makhura was nominated by all the regions to replace Paul Mashatile as the new chair.