Mpumalanga ANC Delegates Said to Be Pushed to Back Ramaphosa

Updated on
  • Ramaphosa, Dlamini-Zuma are in race for leader of ruling ANC
  • 223 branches in Mpumalanga province didn’t disclose preference

Senior African National Congress leaders urged uncommitted delegates from the eastern province of Mpumalanga to back Cyril Ramaphosa for the post of party president at the ANC’s conference in Johannesburg, people familiar with the situation said.

Mpumalanga ANC Provincial Chairman and Premier David Mabuza would be backed for the post of deputy leader under the proposal, the people said, asking not to be identified because the discussions were private. There was no guarantee the delegates from 223 branches in the province who didn’t specify their preference in earlier nominations for party president complied in the vote that ended Monday and is now being counted.

Ramaphosa, the nation’s deputy president, is competing against President Jacob Zuma’s ex-wife and former African Union Commission chairwoman, Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, for the top ANC post and the right to stand as the party’s presidential candidate in elections in 2019.

Jackson Mthembu, the party’s chief whip and a delegate from the province, said he was confident that Ramaphosa had enough support to win the leadership.

“We have a big delegation from Mpumalanga that agreed to support Cyril” Ramaphosa, Mthembu said. “More than 300 votes.”

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