South Africa’s governing African National Congress will resume its conference on Monday after holding an election for top leaders at the weekend.
The party will resume its plenary session at 9 a.m., the party said in a memorandum circulated to the party. Members spent most of Sunday voting for the positions of ANC president, deputy president and five other executive posts. Balloting took place a day later than planned after technical glitches delayed the registration of delegates at the five-yearly conference.
While President Cyril Ramaphosa received more than double former Health Minister Zweli Mkhize nominations for the party presidency position in the run-up to the conference, the race narrowed at the weekend as alliances shifted. “The delays in getting the conference started likely worked in favour of Team Mkhize and gave those campaigning against Mr. Ramaphosa an extra day to lobby delegates from vote-rich provinces,” Oxford Economics Africa said in a research note on Monday.
ANC condemns accusations of vote buying (December 18, 3:23 p.m.)
Accusations of vote buying damaged the ANC’s brand and undermined the credibility of its leaders and the practice wouldn’t be tolerated, according to spokesman Pule Mabe. Security officials and marshals had been briefed to report any suspicious exchange of money to the conference’s steering committee, he told reporters.
Vote buying is the “antithesis of what we stand for,” Mabe said. “The leadership of the ANC must be beyond reproach.”
The candidates for top positions (December 18, 2:20 a.m.)
President Cyril Ramaphosa and former Health Minister Zweli Mkhize are the only nominees to lead the party. Cooperative Governance Minister Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, who narrowly lost to Ramaphosa in the contest to lead the ANC in 2017 and is among the president’s detractors, declined a nomination from the conference floor to run for the top post.
Deputy President David Mabuza also said he wasn’t available to be re-elected deputy party leader, leaving the position to be contested by Justice Minister Ronald Lamola, Eastern Cape Premier Oscar Mabuyane and ANC Treasurer-General Paul Mashatile. Mabuza’s decision means he’s unlikely to serve a second term as the nation’s deputy president.
These are the candidates for the other top posts:
- Mdumiseni Ntuli, a former ANC secretary in the KwaZulu-Natal province
- Phumulo Masualle, the deputy minister of public enterprises
- Fikile Mbalula, the transport minister
- Nomvula Mokonyane, a former minister of environmental affairs
- Tina Joemat-Pettersson, a former energy minister
Second Deputy Secretary-General
- Maropene Ramokgopa, a presidential adviser on international relations
- Ronalda Nalomanga, an ANC official from the Western Cape province
- Stanley Mathabatha, the premier of the Limpopo province
- Gwede Mantashe, the mineral resources and energy minister, and incumbent ANC chairman
- David Masondo, the deputy finance minister
- Bejani Chauke, a special adviser to Ramaphosa
- Pule Mabe, the ANC’s spokesman
- Mzwandile Masina, a former mayor of the Ekurhuleni municipality
- Gwen Ramakgopa, a former deputy health minister
ANC registers delegates to pick leader (December 17, 10 p.m.)
The ANC completed the registration of 4,426 voting delegates attending its conference.
Challenges that delayed the process included a new registration system, a poor computer network, faulty equipment and power cuts, the ANC’s credentials committee said in a report on Saturday. There were also late changes to some delegate lists and problems with tags and photos, it said.
The five-day conference is due to end on Dec. 20.
ANC membership nosedives (December 17, 9 p.m.)
The party’s membership has fallen sharply over the past two years, a decline that mirrors its waning support.
The ANC credential committee’s report shows the party has 691,381 paid-up members, down from 1.6 million in July 2020.
“The sharp fall in membership numbers shows the general apathy toward the party and organizational disarray,” said Melanie Verwoerd, an independent political analyst and former ANC lawmaker. “The use of an electronic membership system by the ANC since its last national conference in 2017 also lends credence to suspicions then that membership numbers had been inflated.”
Godongwana says policy shift unlikely (December 17, 8 a.m. )
Finance Minister Enoch Godongwana told business leaders attending a breakfast on the sidelines of the conference that ANC policy isn’t determined by the party’s leaders and won’t necessarily shift if power does change hands. He also said he’d be prepared to continue working with Ramaphosa or Mkhize.
“Unlike in the USA where the policy belongs to the president, policy belongs to the party, so irrespective of the change in government, the party will continue to pursue its policy,” Godongwana said. “I am not panicking an inch about who comes out.”
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