Provinces conclude on premier candidates as ANC starts vetting process

Limpopo health MEC Dr Phophi Ramathuba tops the ANC list of premier candidates.
Limpopo health MEC Dr Phophi Ramathuba tops the ANC list of premier candidates.
Image: Freddy Mavunda

The ANC is likely to appoint female premiers in the three provinces where the party received a sizable chunk of votes in the 2024 provincial elections.

In Limpopo, health MEC Phophi Ramathuba has topped the list of premier candidates, while Refilwe Mtsweni-Tsipane is likely to make a return as Mpumalanga premier. The North West is fielding Lizzy Mokua and Susan Dantjie.

In Limpopo the ANC received 74% at the polls declared on Sunday.  It garnered 58% in North West and 51% in Mpumalanga, meaning the party will appoint premiers.

Panyaza Lesufi has been put forward as the party's candidate in Gauteng, with Oscar Mabuyane, Mxolisi Dukwane and Zamani Saul topping the lists in the Eastern Cape, Free State and the Northern Cape.

Provincial executive committees (PECs) have handed over their lists of premier candidates to the ANC’s national officials for interviews and vetting.   

SowetanLIVE's sister publication, TimesLIVE understands the national officials started interviewing candidates on Tuesday morning.  

The names will be announced when the internal process is concluded
ANC spokesperson Mahlengi Bhengu–Motsiri

ANC spokesperson Mahlengi Bhengu–Motsiri said the process was under way.  

She said the ANC was aiming to be done by Friday, “at latest the weekend”.  

“The names will be announced when the internal process is concluded,” she said.  

In ANC tradition, party officials deliberate on three names recommended by an extended provincial executive committee. This is done after the individuals undergo stringent interviews and vetting by party officials.  

The extended PECs were mandated to sit before the first national executive committee (NEC) sitting after elections. The extended PECs discussed and voted on their most eligible candidates.    

The process is overseen by the electoral committee headed by former president Kgalema Motlanthe.  

In 2023, the NEC adopted a new selection criterion which stated structures should nominate two women as premier candidates.  

The guidelines also stated incumbent female premiers serving their first term of office are automatically included in the list of three candidates. 

ANC leaders must have obtained a post-matric qualification as part of the criterion used to ensure they are eligible for nomination.  

According to insiders, the extended PEC in Mpumalanga was divided on premier Mtsweni-Tsipane. Insiders said the leagues and the ANC’s alliance leaders had to intervene when her name was excluded from the list.  

In December, TimesLIVE reported Mtsweni-Tsipane had survived attempts by the PEC  to remove her. 

In the Eastern Cape, premier Mabuyane was also at risk of losing his position as some PEC members had been lobbying for the party to exclude him from its list of candidates.  

In Limpopo, deputy chairperson Florance Radzilani failed to obtain the numbers she needed to participate in the process. Radzilani has been fighting for her political survival after she defected to the Zweli Mkhize camp in 2022.  

At the ANC’s national conference, Radzilani and premier Stan Mathabatha announced the province would vote for Mkhize for party president.  

This was thwarted by branches which branded them “sell-outs” for working against President Cyril Ramaphosa.  

Despite having failed to have retained its majority in Gauteng, the ANC's provincial structures submitted their list of candidates to the party’s electoral committee.  

TimesLIVE understands KwaZulu-Natal had not met to discuss its candidates.  

The ANC lost its majority in KwaZulu-Natal to former president Jacob Zuma’s MK party, taking only 7.62% of the vote.   

The list of premier candidates includes:  

Limpopo: Phophi Ramathuba, Nakedi Sibanda-Kekana, Basikopo Makamu  

Mpumalanga: Mandla Ndlovu, Refilwe Mtsweni-Tsipane, Cathy Dlamini. 

Northern Cape: Zamani Saul, Fufe Makatong, Limakatso Koloi. 

Eastern Cape: Oscar Mabuyane, Helen Sauls-August,  Siphokazi Mani-Lusithi.  

Gauteng: Panyaza Lesufi, Tasneem Motara, Morakane Mosupye. 

North West: Susan Dantjie, Lazzy Mokgosi, Lizzy Mokua. 

 Free State: Mxolisi Dukwana, Dibolelo Mahlatsi, Maqueen Letsoha-Mathae. 

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