ANC Western Cape provincial secretary Songezo Mjongile. Picture: THE TIMES
ANC Western Cape provincial secretary Songezo Mjongile. Picture: THE TIMES

DEPUTY President Kgalema Motlanthe has been chosen as the Western Cape African National Congress (ANC) nominee for party president, provincial secretary Songezo Mjongile said on Thursday.

Both the Western Cape and Limpopo had missed the November 30 deadline to conclude the leadership nomination process ahead of the ruling party’s Mangaung elective conference later this month.

Mr Motlanthe won by a small margin, receiving 99 votes to President Jacob Zuma’s 90.

Sports and Recreation Minister Fikile Mbalula was endorsed for the position of secretary-general, with 96 delegates supporting him against incumbent Gwede Mantashe’s 85.

The final list saw Mathews Phosa nominated for deputy president and Thandi Modise as deputy secretary-general. This was after a revote.

Earlier national executive committee (NEC) member Cyril Ramaphosa was nominated as Mr Motlanthe's deputy, and Jessie Duarte as deputy secretary-general.

Mr Mjongile said voting for the remaining positions would continue after the nominees failed to get an outright majority.

Delegates had been gathered at the Cape Peninsula University of Technology, where the provincial general council was being held, since 4pm on Wednesday.

Members of the ANC NEC task team — including Public Service and Administration Minister Lindiwe Sisulu, Health Minister Aaron Motsoaledi and Gauteng Premier Nomvula Mokonyane — had travelled to Cape Town on Wednesday for the reconvened nomination conference.

On Wednesday, provincial ANC chairman Marius Fransman said: "We believe that the conference will happen very smoothly, because the Western Cape leadership won’t need to deal with disputes, as that will be done separately by the NEC task team."

Last week, two attempts to conclude the province’s nomination process collapsed, as a result of the provincial executive committee not having the authority to rule over branch disputes.

Controversy in Limpopo

Meanwhile, the conference in Limpopo was still mired in controversy on Thursday morning, following complaints on Wednesday that some delegates were being excluded and bogus delegates being registered to attend the gathering in their place.

The conference was abandoned last week after violence broke out at the gathering in the hotly contested province.

Registration kicked off by mid-morning on Wednesday but the process was far from smooth with tense stand-offs between supporters of Mr Zuma and those backing Mr Motlanthe.

There was a heavy police presence, both at the registration and conference venue. This included check points on the road leading to the venues and a command centre at the conference hall.

By late afternoon many waited at the registration venue, some complaining that they were not allowed to enter despite being legitimate delegates.

Two men, believed to be supporters of Mr Zuma, were arrested on Wednesday night when a group of people tried to force their way into the conference centre. They allegedly pelted police with stones when officers tried to talk to them.

The men will appear in the Polokwane Magistrate’s Court on public violence charges soon.

On Thursday morning, police spokesman Brig Hangwani Mulaudzi said: "The situation is now calm. We are still having deployments in identified areas — even at the conference centre itself."

He added: "We will be there until the conference finishes, and I think we did the best on our part since yesterday (Wednesday) because now the situation is calm. However, we are not working alone because there is a private security company as well."

With Natasha Marrian, Bekezela Phakathi and Sapa