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JOHANNESBURG — ANC presidential hopeful Cyril Ramaphosa took one small step to becoming the next president of the ruling party over the weekend after he dominated nominations in the Western Cape province. Reports indicated that he received 121 votes out of 145 branches versus the 13 that Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma received. However, the Western Cape is among the ANC’s smaller, weaker provinces and while it ranks as a victory for Ramaphosa, he will need a lot more momentum behind if he wants to win the elective conference scheduled to take place from 16-20 December. What is interesting with the Western Cape votes, though, is that Ramaphosa had a surprise victory in the Dullah Omar region, situated in Cape Town metro area. In the overall national race, both Ramaphosa and Dlamini-Zuma have each claimed that they have enough votes to win the conference with neither side giving an inch. The final stretch is looking increasingly likely to be a very tight race. – Gareth van Zyl
By Donwald Pressly*
The Western Cape is rooting for Cyril Ramaphosa to be the next president of South Africa. The provincial general council has voted for him.
The announcement was made on Sunday night that the provincial general council, held at Cape Town’s Fountains Hotel, was backing almost the entire Ramaphosa slate of candidates. Those he named at a recent rally in Limpopo as his dream team for the TOP SIX all made it – except for Naledi Pandor as deputy president. The Western Cape chose Human Settlements Minister Lindiwe Sisulu as Ramaphosa’s deputy instead.
Gwede Mantashe, the current secretary general, who addressed the Western Cape provincial general council, was nominated as the party’s national chairperson. That is the post the current Speaker of the National Assembly Baleka Mbete holds at present. Mbete is a presidential candidate, but she received no support from the PGC.
According to the Mail & Guardian reporter, Ramaphosa received 121 votes out of 145 branches. Dr Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma received just 13. Ramaphosa received the majority of branch nominations from all of the province’s six regions. Other presidential candidates who received votes were Sisulu, with eight, and former treasurer general Mathews Phosa, who garnered just three.
Sisulu, however, polled well for the deputy presidency, gaining support from 98 branches.
Significantly, the Dullah Omar region, which was disbanded by provincial leaders and later reinstated by the national executive committee, also backed Ramaphosa – with 28 nominations from there, with Dlamini-Zuma trailing with just eight.
It had previously been thought that the Cape Town metro area was in the bag for Dlamini-Zuma.
Ramaphosa’s choice for secretary-general, former KwaZulu Natal premier Senzo Mchunu – who was dismissed as premier by the Zuma faction in the party’s strongest province – got 113 votes for secretary general. Ramaphosa’s choice for treasurer general, Paul Mashatile – the Gauteng leader – garnered a strong 127. Zingiswa Losi garnered 60 votes for deputy secretary-general.
Cape Talk reported that Mantashe had warned delegates that state capture was a reality and had to be a key matter of concern at the upcoming conference. Future succession had to be born in mind at the conference from 16 to 20 December, he warned. If it were not, “there would be another crisis at the next conference”. He said the biggest enemy of the Western Cape was disunity. “You hate each other with passion… as long as you do that, you won’t be able to recover because you undercut each other every time,” he was reported as saying.
- Donwald Pressly is the editor of Cape Messenger.
Cyril Ramaphosa: The Audio Biography
Listen to the story of Cyril Ramaphosa's rise to presidential power, narrated by our very own Alec Hogg.