Ramaphosa and Mkhize in ‘neck-and-neck battle’ for ANC’s top job – NEC insider

The contest for the ANC’s top job between President Cyril Ramaphosa and former health minister Zweli Mkhize will be ‘neck on neck’, says Dakota Legoete, an ANC National Executive Committee member and deputy head of organising in the ANC.
Dakota Legoete, an ANC National Executive Committee (NEC) member and the party’s deputy head of organising, says the position of ANC president is going to be hotly contested during the party’s four-day elective conference, which is currently under way at Nasrec in Johannesburg.
The ANC’s 55th conference, which started on Friday, 16 December, has been marked by delays and technical glitches.
President Cyril Ramaphosa and former health minister Zweli Mkhize are “neck and neck” in the race for party president, Legoete said, adding that the other four positions in the ANC’s Top Six would also be tightly contested.
“I can tell you here that this conference is neck on neck. Every lobby group will tell you that they are winning. But from where I am, I can say that it is not easy to tell who is going to win. The lobbying groups are meeting behind the scenes and this will happen until delegates vote,” he said.
He said people should refrain from thinking that the conference will follow the trends set when the ANC branches nominated leaders for the top positions in the party.
Read more in Daily Maverick: “The 55th ANC Conference in pictures – Day One”
In the branch nomination results released by the ANC election committee in November, Ramaphosa had 2,037 branches behind him, more than twice the number than Mkhize at 916.
“Do not be misled by the numbers [from the branch nominations],” Legoete said. “Lobbyists are meeting behind the scenes. In the conference, ANC members are allowed to lobby each other and agree on certain candidates. This thing [leadership contest] is not over until the proverbial fat lady sings.”
Legoete is considered to be very close to suspended ANC Secretary-General Ace Magashule. He attended the court cases in which Magashule faces charges in connection with the multimillion-rand Free State government tender to remove asbestos from poor people’s homes.
Legoete said both candidates for the top ANC job had been linked to scandals going into the conference. “But now the horse has bolted and we could not disqualify any candidates because that would have had the effect of collapsing the conference.”
A number of Mkhize’s lobbyists also maintain that several key regions and provinces have promised that ...
17 Dec 2022 1PM English South Africa News · News Commentary

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