ANC deputy president Cyril Ramaphosa is leading the Gauteng presidential race following this weekend’s round of nominations by branches in the province.
But, it’s early days, insiders say.
According to them, nominations are yet to meet the halfway mark, which will give a more clear indication of Ramaphosa’s performance in the race.
Outcomes of branch nomination meetings in other provinces – so far – also indicate that it could be a two-horse race between Ramaphosa and former African Union Commission chairperson, Dr Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma.
The other five presidential hopefuls either failed to score nominations or made a poor showing.
Ramaphosa is leading nominations in Gauteng after the provincial executive committee (PEC) endorsed him to replace President Jacob Zuma at the party’s elective conference.
One branch in Johannesburg endorsed Dlamini-Zuma. Her supporters in Gauteng, however, are expecting the numbers to change when branches in Ekurhuleni and Vaal sit in the coming days.
Ramaphosa also earned the nod in branches where Dlamini-Zuma’s backers are members.
The Sonia Bunting branch, where deputy secretary general Jessie Duarte and former tourism minister Derek Hannekom are branch members, also backed Ramaphosa.
Duarte is backing Dlamini-Zuma, while Hanekom is openly campaigning for Ramaphosa.
On Sunday, MKMVA treasurer-general Des Van Rooyen’s branch also nominated the deputy president as its preferred presidential candidate.
An ANC member, who participated in Van Rooyen’s Phaphama branch general meeting, told News24 that 8 out of 102 branch members were pro Dlamini-Zuma.
“This is a majority rules situation. There was nothing he could say or do,” said the insider.
After its June conference, MKMVA had thrown its weight behind the former African Union Commission chairperson, while the West Rand, which is where the Khutsong branch is located, was the first region in the province to pronounce its preference for Ramaphosa to succeed Zuma.
The deputy also enjoyed support from most branches in Pretoria, except from a Ward 7 branch in Attridgeville and Soshanguve.
The latter has nominated ANC treasurer-general Zweli Mkhize. Ward 7, which is also the home of ANC Youth League Tswhane Chairperson Lesego Makhubela, nominated Dlamini-Zuma to become the ANC’s first female president. — News24