Zuma Faces Tough Challenge as ANC Votes

Jacob Zuma and his Deputy Kgalema Motlanthe
President Jacob Zuma and his Deputy Kgalema Motlanthe

AFRICANGLOBE – Delegates attending South Africa’s ruling ANC‘s conference were on Monday evening expected to vote in an election pitting under fire President Jacob Zuma and his deputy Kgalema Motlanthe for the party’s top post.

The winner of the polls is almost certain to lead South Africa after the 2014 elect elections because of the ANC’s electoral dominance since the country’s emergence from apartheid rule a decade ago.

Motlanthe had also nominated for the deputy presidency but pulled out in order to square up with Zuma.

Zuma’s allies are also expected to make a clean sweep of the party’s top six posts with prominent business Cyril Ramaphosa expected to emerge the new deputy president.

Outgoing treasurer-general Mathews Phosa will slug it out against Human Settlements Minister Tokyo Sexwale for the post.

Phosa praised the deputy president for standing against Zuma despite the fact that the tide seemed against him.

Zuma Challenged by His Deputy

“Motlanthe did the right thing to step down (as deputy president),” he said. “He is allowing for contestation. And he is showing confidence in himself”.

The electoral committee said the voting would take place by secret ballot late on Monday.

“All voting delegates are to choose one delegate per position.

“The voters’ roll will be finalised after the credentials report has been adopted, and this has been done,” said electoral committee member Andrew Mlangeni.

Delegates would also vote for 80 national executive committee members.

A delegate’s ballot would not be counted if they voted for more than 80 people and 4075 delegates would vote for the ANC new leadership.

Meanwhile, the ANC 53rd conference kicked off on Sunday in Manguang in the country’s Free State province with close to 6000 people attending the elective gathering held every five years.

Addressing the delegates on the first day, Zuma was frank and laid bare the worrying trend and problems of corruption and vote buying in the party.

“Today we reflect on the road travelled since 2007, in both organisational work and that of the ANC in government,” he said.

“Alien tendencies to be eliminated from the movement as part of renewal are the negative lobbying for positions, which includes smear campaigns in the media as well as gossip and rumour-mongering about one another”.

The run-up to the conference has been marked by court cases, murder and violence within the ranks and smear campaigns against different factions.