The African National Congress (ANC) in the North West has endorsed Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma as its preferred candidate to lead the party in December.
The former African Union Commission chairperson and Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa are seen as front runners to replace Jacob Zuma at the helm.
At the weekend, the ANC in the North West province resolved at its provincial general congress in Rustenburg to nominated and support Dlamini-Zuma as candidate to contest the ANC presidency with Mpumalanga Premier David Mabuza as her deputy.
Free State Premier Ace Magashule was nominated to contest the secretary general position, Jessie Duarte for the first deputy secretary general, Eastern Cape Premier Phumulo Masualle for second deputy secretary general, International Relations and Cooperation Minister Maite Nkoana-Mashabane for treasurer and Arts and Culture Minister Nathi Mthethwa for national chairperson.
Those nominated to contest positions as additional National Executive Committee members included ANC Provincial Secretary Dakota Legoete, Lerato Teme, Itumeleng Mosala, SA Communist Party North West deputy secretary Pat Motubatse, Environmental Affairs Minister Edna Molewa, North West Finance, Economy and Enterprise Development MEC Wendy Nelson, Pinky Moloi, ANC Youth League President Collen Maine, ANC Women’s League (ANCWL) General Secretary Meokgo Matuba, Rustenburg Mayor Mpho Khunou, Humphrey Mmemezi and Obed Bapela.
The ANCWL in North West had endorsed Dlamini-Zuma as its preferred presidential candidate, While the South African Communist Party and Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu) preferred deputy president Cyril Ramaphosa.
North West Premier and ANC Provincial Chairperson Supra Mahumapelo said all positions in the ANC were available to be contested. He said it was incorrect to suggest that party deputy presidents automatically ascend to lead the ANC – a practice, which some senior party members have described as tradition.
“The is no such tradition. In Mangaung deputy president, Kgalema Motlanthe, contested President Jacob Zuma. If there was such a tradition Kgalema [Motlanthe] was supposed to be the president,” Mahumapelo said.
He said in Polokwane Zuma contested the position against former president Thabo Mbeki.
“We have nomination forms, if the position of the president was reserved to deputy president it should have not been on the nomination form. All positions in the ANC are contested, all go through the nomination process,” he said.
Last week ANC secretary-general Gwede Mantashe said the ruling party will be in a crisis if Zuma does not hand over the leadership reins to his deputy, Ramaphosa.
“If President Zuma, with experience refuses to handover to the DP [deputy president], we will be a crisis. Let us find a woman to be DP, for succession to be managed,” said Mantashe.
“I put this as an idea, I said branches must debate this idea. In the interests of the ANC, succession must be managed,” he said.
The other candidates in the leadership race are; Human Settlements Minister Lindiwe Sisulu, ANC Treasurer-General Zweli Mkhize – seen by some as a possible option for a unity ticket – as well as lawyer and former Mpumalanga premier, Mathews Phosa.