OLD familiar Western Cape politicians stand to make a comeback this week if they get elected to the ANC’s national executive committee (NEC) in Mangaung.
Voting ballots for the NEC, the party’s highest decision-making body between conferences, were still being counted last night and results were expected today .
A total 295 nominees competed at the voting polls yesterday for the 80 NEC positions up for grabs.
Western Cape ANC secretary Songezo Mjongile confirmed that former premier Ebrahim Rasool and his old political rival Mcebisi Skwatsha were part of over a dozen Western Cape politicians to be nominated for NEC positions.
Rasool is serving as South Africa’s ambassador to the US, while Skwatsha is an MPL.
“This is a call for me to serve again and to unite the ANC in the province,” Skwatsha told the Cape Times yesterday.
Skwatsha and Rasool were in the middle of bitter ANC infighting when they both served on the party’s provincial structures.
Rasool was removed from his premiership position in the wake of Jacob Zuma’s victory at the conference in 2007.
In 2010, however, national ANC secretary-general Gwede Mantashe revealed to journalists that Rasool had been sacked as premier because of allegations that journalists were being paid to write favourable stories about him.
Since then deputy minister for international relations and co-operation Marius Fransman took over as ANC chairman in the province.
He and provincial secretary Songezo Mjongile were both nominated to the NEC this week but declined as they will serve as ex-officio members on the committee.
Western Cape ANC delegates were divided down the middle before Mangaung when 90 delegates voted for Zuma and 99 favoured Motlanthe.
After Tuesday’s results Fransman and Mjongile called for unity behind Zuma among ANC members in the province.
ANC leader in the provincial legislature Lynne Brown warned yesterday there was a “general campaign against Jacob Zuma in the Western Cape”.
“We will have to work hard to address that and unite people,” she said.
Brown was nominated to serve on the NEC for a second term this week.
“It is important for ANC members from the Western Cape, as from all other provinces, to serve on the NEC and explain the peculiarities of the province,” she said.
These peculiarities, she explained, were high inequality along racial lines, a high number of contact crimes and a diverse population.
Other Western Cape politicians nominated to the NEC are ambassador to the UK Zola Skweyiya, former minister Pallo Jordan, former deputy minister Sue van der Merwe, economic development minister Ebrahim Patel and NCOP chief whip Nosipho Mntwanambi.
Cosatu provincial leader Tony Ehrenreich and deputy human settlements minister Zou Kota-Fredericks are also nominated, along with Tony Yengeni and his former wife Lumka Yengeni, MP, as well as MP Annelize van Wyk and National Assembly deputy speaker Nomaindia Mfeketho.
ANC MPL Max Ozinsky was also nominated along with veteran ANC politician Lerumo Kalako.
Fransman said he was satisfied with the number of nominations: “There are good leaders who can serve the ANC.”