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His po­si­tion as sec­re­tary-gen­eral – tak­ing care of ad­min­is­tra­tion, in­clud­ing branch mem­ber­ship and au­dits for con­fer­ences – makes him one of the most im­por­tant can­di­dates for any group to have on its side.

Man­tashe, like Deputy Pres­i­dent Cyril Ramaphosa, comes from a trade union­ist back­ground and some in Cosatu are likely to back his can­di­dacy.

As a for­mer chair­per­son of the SACP, ad­di­tional sup­port for Man­tashe is also likely to come from the com­mu­nist bloc in the ANC.

An endorsement from the Eastern Cape – Man­tashe’s home province – is also likely to boost his chances. He has been as­so­ci­ated with Gaut­eng be­cause the province has be­come his pri­mary res­i­dence and he is a branch mem­ber in the Ekurhuleni re­gion.

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