ANC in Limpopo says it backs Motlanthe
THE African National Congress (ANC) in Limpopo says all its provincial leaders are "walking together" in the campaign to have Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe replace President Jacob Zuma.
However, this came amid talk that deputy provincial chairman Dickson Masemola was lobbying support for Mr Zuma.
Mr Masemola was not available for comment yesterday.
Nominations of candidates for the ANC’s national elective conference in Mangaung in December opened this week.
Mr Zuma appeared to enjoy an early lead, with the combined support of KwaZulu-Natal, the Free State and Mpumalanga. But this may not necessarily translate into votes by conference delegates. In the run-up to the conference, provincial leaders — particularly in highly divided provinces such as the North West and the Western Cape — would be seeking to influence conference delegates in the branches to support their nominees.
The Limpopo ANC was the first province to express its support for Mr Motlanthe — a declaration blamed on what appeared to be a hostile relationship between the provincial leadership and Mr Zuma’s supporters in the party and the national government.
Limpopo ANC spokesman Makonde Mathivha said yesterday that two meetings were held recently to assess the party leadership and to discuss candidates, "and no one had objected to the views of the province, including the deputy chairman".
Yesterday, the deputy chairman of the ANC in North West, China Dodovu, said he did not agree with this week’s decision by his provincial executive committee to support a second term for Mr Zuma, indicating that the North West’s choice of presidential candidate is still in contention.
The North West provincial executive committee said after a meeting on Monday that it wanted current party leaders retained in their positions, including Mr Zuma and Mr Motlanthe.
However, Mr Dodovu said the ANC was facing a crisis of leadership and Mr Motlanthe could rescue the organisation.
While the ANC in the Western Cape has yet to decide who it will nominate between Mr Zuma and Mr Motlanthe, strong indications were that most structures in the province were backing the deputy president.
The party’s provincial executive committee met on Wednesday to discuss policy as well as its preferred candidates to lead the ANC. Provincial chairman Marius Fransman — who earlier this week was quoted as saying Mr Zuma should serve a second term — said the final decision would be made by the branches.
Mr Fransman said the province would only announce the names of its preferred candidates at the end of next month after its provincial general council.
However, Western Cape ANC youth league chairman in the Dullah Omar region, Khaya Yozi, said delegates would back Mr Motlanthe. "What is concrete right now is that Mr Motlanthe will be backed by the Western Cape to be the next president of the ANC," Mr Yozi said.
Limpopo and North West rank fourth and seventh among the nine provinces in terms of ANC membership size. In Mangaung, Limpopo will have 574 voting delegates, North West will have 234, and the Western Cape 178 delegates.
Mr Mathivha referred all queries about the list of candidates preferred by Limpopo to provincial secretary Soviet Lekganyane, who was not available for comment.
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