The Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma camp has allegedly approached African National Congress (ANC) secretary-general Gwede Mantashe to be her deputy president.
KwaZulu-Natal ANC chairperson Sihle Zikalala and some of his colleagues reportedly met Mantashe in the past two weeks to convince him to join the former AU president’s camp.
However, Mantashe apparently turned them down as he would rather be on the Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa camp. Mantashe’s problem with the Dlamini-Zuma camp is Free State chairperson Ace Magashule, who is allegedly close with the controversial Gupta family.
Magashule is reportedly on Dlamini-Zuma’s list as secretary-general.
Zikalala reportedly confirmed the talks with Mantashe to City Press, but said their talks were just a “consultation” that would inform formal discussion once the “process” starts. No “bargaining” for positions had taken place, comrades were only engaging one another, he told the publication, further denying that Mantashe turned them down.
“If you are saying that he declined, that is great,” he was quoted as saying.
However, an ANC leader in KwaZulu-Natal, who was not named, reportedly also confirmed to the publication that Zikalala met with Mantashe, who agreed to be the deputy. He said he was surprised by the reports claiming he had declined the position.
He further told City Press that Mantashe had received a thumbs up by the Eastern Cape, KwaZulu-Natal and the Free State.
So far, only Magashule and Mantashe were reportedly on Dlamini-Zuma’s ticket, though Minister in the Presidency Jeff Radebe, who is also vouching for president, was also being considered as Dlamini-Zuma’s deputy.
Though Magashule has a confirmed position as Dlamini-Zuma’s secretary-general, a KZN ANC youth league insider reportedly said the league preferred Arts and Culture Minister Nathi Mthethwa as secretary-general, while the league in Mpumalanga preferred the province’s premier David Mabuza.
Dlamini-Zuma on Friday embarked on a door-to-door visit to Hammanskraal residents, and handed over a new home to 134-year-old Johanna Ramatse, alongside the controversial pastor Paseka Mboro in Stinkwater.
The presidential hopeful, however, denied claims that she was campaigning and electioneering.