Cyril Ramaphosa took the reigns of the party as the 14th president of the African National Congress on 18 December 2017.
Mpumalanga delegates who had hoped their presidential hopeful Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma would take the baton of the ANC were on Monday night trying to find peace with a rumour that their leader David Mabuza went for her opponent in the ballot paper.
Cyril Ramaphosa defeated Dlamini-Zuma when he received 2440 of the total votes against her 2261, a difference of 179 votes.
NDZ supporters now believe these were the Unity votes that Mabuza had been putting aside all along.
Mpumalanga previously had 123 of its total branches nominating Dlamini-Zuma and 117 nominating CR, with 223 choosing Mabuza’s Unity candidate.
The province changed in the final hours during voting at the Nasrec Expo Centre when a majority of its delegates went for CR in the ballot.
A delegate who serves in one of the regional executive committees of the ANC in the province said newly elected secretary Ace Magashule appeared very upset by the outcomes on Monday night and came to tell them that “Mabuza sold us out”.
“Comrade Ace came to us [after the results had been announced]. We were very disappointed all of us. No singing. Nothing. Unable even to drink water. He didn’t look happy also. He then said that Mabuza sold us out and then he left,” the Mpumalanga source who is a staunch NDZ supporter said last night.
“But it’s fine we accept the results, all of us we have won,” he said.
Lamola says CR17 will win by overwhelming majority. That God intervened, the earth shook, something was in the air, Mpumalanga delegates saw the light and will vote CR17. He literally had palpitations.. https://t.co/arsCV9P0ow
With just few a days to go, the ANC’s 54th congress will obviously be the toughest yet.
ANC regional leaders in the Mpumalanga province are in a bid to rescue presidential contender Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma’s sinking campaign ship as five of the nine ANC provinces have declared support for Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa.
Dlamini-Zuma has since been nominated by KZN, North West and Free State, with Mpumalanga nominating Unity.
On Thursday last week (8 Dec), Nkangala ANC chairman Speedy Mashilo convened what they say was a ‘caucus’ – attended by the region’s delegates – and inviting Bohlabela leader Gillion Mashego, Gert Sibande’s Muzi Chirwa and eHlanzeni’s Ngrayi Ngwenya.
Sources who attended this meeting in KwaMhlanga later on the day said it was chaired by Mashilo – and that both Mashego and Chirwa spoke and all told the delegates that they support Dlamini-Zuma.
Ngwenya didn’t come to the meeting but did send an apology, sources told the 013NEWS reporter.
Nkangala delegates were assured by Mashilo, Mashego and Chirwa that all is well with the NDZ ship, amidst Limpopo, Gauteng and the three cape provinces nominating Ramaphosa as President Jacob Zuma’s successor.
The four Mpumalanga regional leaders want provincial leader DD Mabuza to leave the province and go serve as the deputy president of the ANC.
“The caucus was meant to send a message that delegates should know that we support NDZ and that this thing of Unity should not worry them,” a delegate who attended the KwaMhlanga caucus said on Friday morning.
“They did say that we should not go all over the place pronouncing people, but we should know that we are NDZ,” the source said, adding that of the over 170 Nkangala delegates, 147 came to the Mashilo meeting and agreed to support NDZ.
“Chirwa and Mashego spoke and reaffirmed our support for comrade Nkosazana,” the source told the reporter.
Dlamini-Zuma was during BGMs nominated by only 123 of the total Mpumalanga branches, Ramaphosa only 117 and Mabuza’s Unity receiving 223 branch nomination votes.
The regional leaders want Mabuza’s Unity delegates turned into NDZ votes in conference in order to allow him to be the deputy president.
Mashilo confirmed convening the meeting and said his other counterparts were invited to demonstrate to delegates the support of his region for NDZ.
“Let me not speak for the province, I’m not allowed to speak on its behalf,” Mashilo said when the reporter asked him whether as Mpumalanga they support NDZ, “but as Nkangala yes we support NDZ,” he said over the phone.
He said he saw a Facebook post making the rounds of the list of anti-CR leaders whose branches nominated CR.
Mpumalanga ANC secretary Mandla Ndlovu has laughed off rumours claiming his branch nominated Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa.
Ndlovu on Friday said he shares the same branch as Bohlabela ANC secretary Follas Sibuyi in Thulamahashi and that this branch nominated ‘Unity’ – meaning they didn’t put anybody’s name on the nomination forms.
A week ago, Mpumalanga – a province previously thought to be not supporting Dlamini-Zuma – demonstrated to the country how prepared they are now to back her, hosting her during a rally organised by ANCWL in KwaMhlanga.
Mandla Ndlovu, the ANC secretary in Mpumalanga, said they don’t talk about which position they will take before the meeting sits.
“It will be a meeting to consolidate nominations,” he said.
During BGMs, regional leaders were apparently instructed by Mabuza to influence branches to not put anybody’s name on the nomination forms in favour of unity.
But now this has been exposed to have had been a ruse by the NDZ faction to block the CR one from getting nominations in the branches.
She said the presidential candidate will speak for the rights of the poor to be allowed access to SA’s economy.
ANC contender Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma is painted by Jessie Duarte as that leader with the capabilities to bring economic freedom to the marginalised and excluded.
Duarte, who is expected to be re-elected for the position of ANC deputy secretary in December, said they always needed that leader who will “unlock the potential that South Africa has”.
“We need a leader who will say to the rich mining industries ‘you are here, you are South Africans, you are billionaires today because you are South Africans. Not because you come from Europe. You were born here. You took the mines. You took all the wealth but you did not add any value’ and that’s the kind of a leader we know Nkosazana is,” Duarte said.
She was speaking during a Mpumalanga ANCWL’s Molo Makhelwane rally in KwaMhlanga, addressed by Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, over the weekend.
“Until we unite the ANC first, we cannot have an economy that works for everybody. Our economy is not working for us comrades. Our economy works for a particular level of people. We are the servants and that’s the way they want it to remain.
“We are saying we need a leader that will help to unlock every single potential that our country has. Comrade Nkosazana is that kind of leader and she will not be afraid to speak her mind in order to make sure that the right things are done at the right time,” the deputy secretary told scores at the KwaMhlanga stadium.
The NDZ group wants Duarte to retain to her post and Mpumalanga ANC leader DD Mabuza to deputise NDZ as the deputy president as well as Ace Magashule to take over from national secretary Gwede Mantashe and Nathi Mthethwa to be the chair.
Duarte called on all those who were accusing her allies of corruption to also back it up with proof.
She said they are themselves against corruption but didn’t play the game of “accusing people falsely”.
“Comrades let’s be clear. Nobody wants corruption. Nobody. We all must end it collectively. Let us not hide any corrupt people under the carpet but let us not accuse people falsely so that the real corrupt people can hide behind that false accusation,” she said.
The KwaMhlanga rally was meant to send a signal to the world that Mpumalanga ANC is actually behind NDZ.
It was attended by all chairpersons of the ANC regions in Mpumalanga, REC and PEC members, the mayor of Elias Mostwaledi municipality in Limpopo as well as a delegation for Gauteng’s Joburg region.
It began two weeks back when the Mpumalanga ANCWL pronounced, endorsing Dlamini-Zuma to take over the baton of the party in December.
It is believed during a PGC to sit soon and to be addressed by Mabuza, Mpumalanga will pronounce they are backing Dlamini-Zuma.