Unshackled Zuma can now campaign
Former president could make or break Mkhize
The unshackling of former president Jacob Zuma on Friday also presents a new dynamic in the race to lead the ANC. Zuma has already endorsed Nkosazana Dlamini-zuma to lead the party and audaciously also suggested his name for the position of national chairperson.
The end of his parole means he is now free to campaign for both himself and candidates of his choice. Zuma still commands a reasonable support in various parts of the country and his influence can make or break Mkhize’s campaign.
The pair were previously political allies, but their relationship has deteriorated over the years mainly because of a perception that Mkhize had endorsed Ramaphosa’s leadership when he served in his cabinet as minister of health before his hasty exit.
Although Zuma has not unpacked his next political programme, one of his staunch supporters and radical economic transformation (RET) faction spokesperson Nkosentsha Shezi said: “Although we have not met with Msholozi and drafted our programme of action, but now that he is a free man, he can speak to the masses and provide much needed ideological compass. He is the man that the masses bestowed the title of Father of RET and he remains a beacon of hope for the countless black majority that languishes in poverty.”
KZN has been allocated 877 delegates, making it the biggest provincial voting bloc at the conference. The trend of branches asserting themselves against the wishes of the provincial leaders came after ANC head of electoral committee Kgalema Motlanthe warned against PECS prematurely announcing their preferred leaders.
Motlanthe said nominations by the PEC were not compliant with the rules and spirit of the ANC constitution, which empowered branches to elect leaders independently and without fear or favour.
ANC spokesperson Dakota Legoete said over 2 500 BGMS of the 4000 had convened to nominate leaders. A further 750 to 1000 were expected to sit at the weekend, including those that did not meet their quorum during their first attempt.
“Nominations will be consolidated by the electoral committee at the end of the BGM process at the beginning of November. We are confident ANC branches will meet the deadline,” he said.
Branches have until 25 October to conclude their BGMS to nominate ANC leaders for the December conference.
All in all, 4250 delegates will attend the December conference in Nasrec, Johannesburg.
Limpopo will have 613 branch delegates, Gauteng will have 502 delegates, Mpumalanga 390, North West 361 delegates to the conference, Free State 301, Western Cape 283 delegates and Northern Cape 239 delegates.
Mpumalanga, Limpopo and Northern Cape have endorsed Ramaphosa to serve a second term but differ on the deputy president position.
The provinces have not said who they prefer as secretary general.