The ANC in the Eastern Cape has thrown its weight behind ANC deputy president Cyril Ramaphosa, to succeed Jacob Zuma as the party’s president.
Newly elected provincial chairperson Oscar Mabuyane said the provincial executive committee fully supported Ramaphosa’s candidature. It’s the first time the new leadership officially pronounced its stance on its presidential preference.
Eastern Cape previously supported Jacob Zuma, but Ramaphosa’s influence and regular campaigning in the province has changed that.
It is understood that some members in the Amathole and Nelson Mandela regions supported Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma in the race.
The Eastern Cape’s recent provincial conference turned ugly as supporters of Mabuyane and his predecessor, Phumulo Masualle, clashed inside and outside the conference venue.
Masualle’s followers challenged the credentials of the conference and chairs went flying. Some delegates had to be rushed to hospital.
The new leadership is being challenged in court as opponents are unhappy with the results, claiming they are irregular. They also claim that many delegates supporting Masualle were prevented from entering the conference venue.
The conference was supervised by several members of the ANC national executive committee, including national spokesperson Zizi Kodwa, Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula, Jackson Mthembu and Bheki Cele.
From the start of the conference, it was clear Mabuyane was headed for a victory. Speaking on the sidelines of a training workshop attended by provincial and regional leaders, MECs and MPLs in Mthatha yesterday, Mabuyane extended an olive branch to all ANC members who felt marginalised by the process.
He called for unity among all members including those who were not elected.