Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa’s ancestral province, Limpopo, is proving to be one of the main battlegrounds as the succession race gains momentum.
Some regions want Ramaphosa to succeed President Jacob Zuma as the next ANC leader, while others prefer outgoing African Union Commission chair Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma.
Last weekend, disgruntled ANC members from the Mokope branch in the Mopani region – rooting for Ramaphosa – staged a protest during a general meeting to elect delegates for the regional conference to be held next month.
But it turned violent and a man was injured during a fight between Ramaphosa and Dlamini-Zuma supporters. Three cars were also smashed and shots fired.
The ANC will hold its national elective conference in December. Its leaders are elected through branches nominating their preferred candidates, who are then endorsed by the party’s regions and provinces, and winners affirmed at elective conferences.
But factionalism has taken centre stage, with rival groups lobbying to have opponents sidelined.