The ANC's provincial nomination conferences drew to a close on Thursday amid reports of violence, voter fraud, and factional discord in the party.
Of the nine provinces, and the three African National Congress leagues, two held their conferences on Thursday, despite a deadline for last week Friday. The Limpopo ANC nominated deputy president Kgalema Motlanthe as party president at its provincial conference on Thursday morning. Motlanthe won with 268 votes, while President Jacob Zuma secured seven. The Western Cape had also decided on Thursday morning to nominate Motlanthe for president.
Limpopo delegates nominated current ANC treasurer Mathews Phosa for the deputy presidency and Sports Minister Fikile Mbalula to take over from Gwede Mantashe as secretary general. Human Settlements Minister Tokyo Sexwale was nominated for treasurer, North West premier Thandi Modise for national chairwoman and Thenjiwe Mtintso -- a former deputy secretary for the ANC -- was again nominated for that position. After the nominations were announced a small group of delegates chanted in celebration: "We don't like Zuma, he fired ANCYL [African National Congress Youth League] president Julius Malema". Malema hails from Seshego in Limpopo.
The province carried on with its conference despite a walk-out by delegates supporting Zuma and allegations of voter fraud. They claimed the conference did not verify the credibility of delegates. Some delegates, who did not want to be named, complained that when they went to register, they discovered that unknown delegates had signed under their names and collected accreditation.
The conference was postponed last Friday after delegates disrupted the conference, also accusing provincial leadership of using bogus delegates. On Wednesday evening, two men were arrested when people tried to force their way into the conference, Limpopo police said. The Western Cape ANC also nominated Mbalula for the position of secretary general.
A re-vote was called for after nominees for the positions of deputy president, deputy secretary, chairperson and treasurer failed to get an outright majority. The province adjourned its conference early on Saturday morning without endorsing candidates because of logistical delays, including with the verification of branch delegates. Provincial secretary Songezo Mjongile said on Sunday that the conference had reconvened at 9pm on Saturday night, but had collapsed again. ANC spokesman Keith Khoza said the nominations of the provinces would be accepted. He also said he was not aware if any North West ANC members had laid formal complaints at the ANC's Luthuli House headquarters. Several provincial delegates alleged that Police Minister Nathi Mthethwa swung the province's conference in Zuma's favour.
"Well, I know that three people came to Luthuli House the day before yesterday, but I am not sure what they came to discuss," Khoza said. The Star newspaper reported on Wednesday that Mthethwa had hijacked the North West conference and replaced Motlanthe's supporters with bogus delegates. It also reported that he ordered police to shoot rubber bullets at anti-Zuma delegates. North West police confirmed that stun grenades were used to disperse a group of people who tried to gain entry to the conference, but could not say whether they were Motlanthe supporters.
The province was to have held its conference at the Kosmos Hall in Hartbeespoort on Friday. However, proceedings were delayed because of verification issues and because of a parallel conference being held in Mahikeng. The parallel conference was organised by provincial secretary Kabelo Mataboge, who was supporting Motlanthe for president.
Mataboge was shot at outside his home in Mmabatho on Friday morning by an unknown attacker. He was not injured. The Eastern Cape, Mpumalanga, the Free State and Northern Cape had also nominated Zuma. In the Eastern Cape, Zuma took 392 of the votes versus Motlanthe's 211; in Mpumalanga, Zuma got 427 votes and Motlanthe 17; in the Free State Zuma got 324 votes and Motlanthe none; and in the Northern Cape, Zuma got 169 votes and Motlanthe 25. The ANC Women's and Veterans' leagues also nominated Zuma. Gauteng, along with the ANC Youth League, nominated Motlanthe. Motlanthe has not yet indicated whether he would accept the nominations.
- - - - - COMMENTS BY SONNY - - - THE ELECTIONS MARRED IN CORRUPTION. What a proud nation. To have one of the highest Corruption rating in the WORLD!! Unequalled in AFRICA.