ANC secretary-general Gwede Mantashe. Picture: MARTIN RHODES
ANC secretary-general Gwede Mantashe. Picture: MARTIN RHODES

AFRICAN National Congress (ANC) secretary-general Gwede Mantashe on Sunday defended the party’s leadership nominations process saying it had gone well, despite three provinces not having finalised the process by the Friday deadline.

By last night the process was still under way in North West. In an interview, Mr Mantashe ascribed the delay in the nomination conferences in North West, Limpopo and Western Cape to technicalities, that would be addressed at the special ANC national executive committee meeting on Monday, if they remained unresolved.

Mr Mantashe said the Limpopo conference was unable to sit because there had been a group of delegates whose members felt they were getting "a raw deal" and were being excluded from the conference.

"The provincial executive committee in Western Cape could not agree on anything," said Mr Mantashe, adding that in the North West, the confusion was around two venues for the conference.

The three provinces represent more than a quarter of the 4,500 voting delegates going to Mangaung. In North West the venue for the conference was on Sunday moved to the Rustenburg Civic Centre, in an apparent bid to resolve the standoff between the two dominant factions in the province.

The Western Cape will not put forward leadership nominations for the ANC’s national conference at Mangaung. However, branches from the provinces will still be able to nominate leaders on the congress floor and will still vote in the leadership election.

The process also resulted in a scaling down of the Western Cape’s delegation to the conference, from 178 to about 168 delegates, making it the smallest provincial delegation.

Support in the branches is sharply divided between Mr Zuma and Mr Motlanthe with no certainty as to who holds the majority.

With Carol Paton