In a bid to avoid slates for the ANC’s December elective conference, party provincial structures have started discussing what calibre of person should lead the ANC.
They are doing this using the ruling party’s “Through the Eye of the Needle” document.
On Tuesday, two ANC provinces – North West and Limpopo – confirmed they have started engaging their branches, while Gauteng said it was talking to other provinces on issues of leadership.
The three provinces are singing different tunes on who should replace President Jacob Zuma as the next leader of the ANC.
North West, which is under the tutelage of Zuma’s close ally Supra Mahumapelo, is known to favour former African Union Commission chairperson Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma to succeed her ex-husband.
Limpopo, led by Stan Mathabatha, a known Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa strong supporter, is divided between Ramaphosa and Dlamini-Zuma.
Gauteng, under Paul Mashatile, a vocal critic of Zuma, is stuck between a rock and a hard place. There are those who are lobbying for Ramaphosa, while others are backing former Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe for the ANC’s top post. Other senior leaders, such as Minister in the Presidency Jeff Radebe, are also in the race.
ANC North West spokesperson Gerald Modise said the province was busy with branch general meetings.
“We have given the key document of the movement to the branches.”
Quizzed about who the province is supporting, Modise said the party was waiting for the ANC processes to be opened. Although the ANC national executive committee has an embargo on succession debates until the nomination process starts officially later this year, informal discussions are said to be well under way.
Limpopo ANC spokesperson Khumbudzo Ntshavheni said: “What is clear is that branches want a leader who would restore the dignity of the ANC.”
Gauteng ANC spokesperson Nkenke Kekana said its senior leaders should form part of the ANC national leadership.
“When we went to the Mangaung conference we put forward the names of Mashatile and other leaders. That position has not changed.”