Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa took a major stride in his campaign for the presidency of the ANC at the weekend after he underlined his dominance in Limpopo.
His supporters won the Vhembe regional elective conference in his home town, Thohoyandou. After the victory, the Ramaphosa group officially endorsed him as their candidate for the ANC’s top post, which will be decided at the organisation’s elective conference in December.
Ramaphosa’s strongest ally, Tshitereke Matibe, was re-elected the party’s regional chairman, defeating former Thulamela municipal manager and ANC provincial spokesperson Makonde Mathivha.
Mathivha is allegedly aligned to a lobby group that supports former African Union Commission chairperson Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma. Matibe received 161 votes to Mathivha’s 153, while Anderson Mudunungu, who was elected regional secretary, received 169 votes against the 144 for David Muthavhasindi.
Mudunungu said: “We took a resolution to support the party’s deputy president, Cyril Ramaphosa, as our next ANC president. We believe Ramaphosa is a tried-and-tested cadre who knows the politics of the ANC inside out.
“Ramaphosa is the future and he is the only cadre who will be able to bring the ANC back to its former glory.”
Another delegate who spoke on condition of anonymity for fear of reprisals identified Ramaphosa as a “son of the soil”.
“You know what they say: charity begins at home. And Ramaphosa was born and bred here in Venda. Logic would then tell you that Comrade Cyril is our messiah, whom we believe could unite the ANC and deliver the party to the 2019 national government elections,” said the delegate.
Matibe said: “Jubilation is the order of the day. I am thrilled that once again ANC branches in Vhembe have entrusted me to lead them to greener pastures.”
Dlamini-Zuma had a hostile reception in the region, where she was expected to drum up support for her presidential bid between communities and the religious leadership in Venda.