The ANC in Limpopo has nominated deputy president Cyril Ramaphosa as its preferred presidential candidate bringing his total number of branch nominations to 1669.
Limpopo was the second last province to hold its Provincial General Council (PGC) meeting where the nominations from branches were consolidated.
Three hundred and ninety-one Limpopo branches gave Ramaphosa their backing as opposed to 104 that nominated Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma.
One hundred and eighty-nine Limpopo branches nominated Human Settlements minister Lindiwe Sisulu for the deputy president, with Mpumalanga premier David Mabuza trailing behind her with 129 nominations for the position.
Other nominations in the province include incumbent secretary general Gwede Mantashe was nominated for the position of national chairperson, former KwaZulu-Natal premier Senzo Mchunu as secretary general, Cosatu’s second deputy president Zingiswa Losi as deputy secretary general and Gauteng chairperson Paul Mashatile as treasurer.
With the aid of some of her lobbyists including Transport minister Joe Maswanganyi and Limpopo Transport MEC Makoma Makhurupetje, Dlamini-Zuma had attempted to make inroads in the province in the Sekhukhune and Mopani regions.
The nominations she received from her efforts bow place her total number at 868.
Some of her supporters showed their disappointment at the outcome of the branch nominations, by disrupting an address by Limpopo chairperson and Premier Stan Mathabatha who is a known Ramaphosa supporter.
Though the Limpopo nomination has widened the gap between the two leading candidates, placing Ramaphosa firmly in the lead, KwaZulu-Natal is likely to Dlamini-Zuma a large boost in her figures.
The road to the ANC conference has been littered with legal battles from disputes over the mandate of provincial leadership structures to threats of going to court over the constitution of Branch General Meetings.
At a briefing on the outcomes of a National Executive Committee (NEC) meeting that convened on Sunday, secretary general Gwede Mantashe said the party was not so much concerned with people seeking legal recourse, as much as it was with the premise of seeking court action.
“We don’t have a problem with people going to court if they want to. The issue is people launching disputes (over BGMs) and saying ‘if you don’t agree with me, I got to court’,” Mantashe said.
“Because it means the dispute process is done as a formality”.
He also questioned the motive behind former treasurer general Mathews Phosa’s intention to challenge the outcome of the Mpumalanga PGC in court. Phosa had expected to be nominated by some branches in the province, but the only nominations were for Dlamini-Zuma, Ramaphosa and ‘Unity’.
“Not unless he says those nominations that have written unity…that unity actually means Matthews Phosa. If that is what he is taking to court, that would be interesting,” Mantashe said mockingly.
“Not unless he wants the court to put him on the ballot irrespective of what branches are saying. If that’s what he wants I wish him good luck”.