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By Citizen Reporter

Journalist


Would Ramaphosa secure a second term if his rivals unite behind Mkhize?

Ramaphosa is leading the race with 2 037 nominations to Mkhize's 916, but his rivals said there 'is still time to consolidate behind' the former health minister... if Dlamini-Zuma's supporters ditch her.


The African National Congress (ANC) is abuzz this week as supporters of the various factions within the party try to secure their chosen candidates.

As reported by The Sunday Times, President Cyril Ramaphosa’s rivals are looking for a way to prevent him from serving a second term.

Ramaphosa vs Mkhize

Former health minister Zweli Mkhize’s supporters are trying to convince cooperative governance minister Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma’s supporters to back Mkhize instead.

This after ANC branches overwhelmingly backed President Cyril Ramaphosa and strengthened his chances of being re-elected.

Ramaphosa’s rivals believe they could prevent the president from securing a second term if they unite behind the only other name on the ballot – Mkhize.

Nominations

Ramaphosa is leading the race with 2 037 nominations, followed by Mkhize with 916 and Dlamini-Zuma with 81. As it stands, only Ramaphosa and Mkhize qualify to be on the ballot.

Dlamini-Zuma would have to be nominated from the conference floor and backed by 25% of the delegates before she qualifies for the ballot.

Dlamini-Zuma, however, said she has no intention of abandoning the race and told The Sunday Times she is still “very much available”.

“The election has not happened, the conference has not happened, so there is nothing to concede yet”, she said.

ALSO READ: ANC Women’s League endorses Ramaphosa for second term, dumps Dlamini-Zuma for Modise

Campaigning, ‘not sabotage’

The former health minister’s supporters believe he could steal the seat from Ramaphosa if all those opposed to the president sided with the Mkhize instead.

A senior leader within the party said they are “in talks” with Dlamini-Zuma’s supporters and “engaging with comrades to support our candidate [Mkhize]”.

The campaign to sway Dlamini-Zuma’s supporters – which the ANC member said “is not sabotage against Nkosazana” – began in KwaZulu-Natal and spread to Gauteng this week, with Limpopo next on the list.

He said: “[This] is how campaigns are run and that goes for supporters of everyone who wants to contest Cyril. There is still time to consolidate behind Mkhize”.

Pushback in Limpopo

Meanwhile, Limpopo PEC spokesperson Jimmy Machaka, said the Limpopo branch “firmly believes Ramaphosa should be given a second chance as the president of the ANC”.

“We have agreed as a matter of principle that we will respect each other’s position in that regard”, Machaka added.

“Throughout our interaction with them that has always been the understanding. And no one among us should be aggrieved because in any event we always knew each other’s positions from the word go”.

ALSO READ: Here’s how SA’s five post-apartheid presidents fared on strategy

Mkhize’s supporters accused of bullying

As reported by Sunday Times, a Gauteng PEC leader warned Mkhize’s supporters against bullying party members in other provinces.

“Trying to bully and corner other provinces will not work. A national conference is about lobbying each other until voting happens but that needs art and sophistication, not bullying”.

“As Gauteng, we have our candidate, Paul Mashatile, and that is our focus”.