Cape Town - Two more Western Cape ANC regions are backing party deputy president Kgalema Motlanthe to unseat President Jacob Zuma at the ANC’s Mangaung conference.
The West Coast and Southern Cape regions are also aiming to replace ANC secretary-general Gwede Mantashe with ANC national executive committee (NEC) member and Sports Minister Fikile Mbalula.
Earlier this week, the Dullah Omar region secretary, Vuyiso “JJ” Tyhalisisu, caused a stir when he said the region favoured a leadership change.
With about 18 000 members, the Dullah Omar (Cape Town metro) region is the biggest of the six ANC regions in the province.
ANC Southern Cape regional secretary Putco Mapitiza said on Thursday: “The majority of our branches, 15, have nominated Kgalema Motlanthe as president and Mathews Phosa as deputy. Few nominated Zuma to return.”
He said 28 of the region’s 31 branches had held general meetings to choose and mandate delegates for Mangaung, while plans were under way for other branches to meet this weekend, one in George and two in Oudtshoorn.
Branch meetings must be held before the provincial ANC holds a provincial general council (PGC) next Friday, said Mapitiza.
The Southern Cape region has about 7 000 members.
The PGC will determine a provincial position on party leadership.
Mapitiza said most branches had nominated ANC NEC member and Human Settlements Minister Tokyo Sexwale as ANC treasurer.
The Southern Cape’s choice of ANC leadership change was echoed in the West Coast region, where regional convener Vivid Mgoqi said: “Most of the branches are for change”.
He would not reveal who the branches had nominated, but said: “They want a new leadership. I was not at meetings, but I have been briefed.”
The region has about 8 000 members.
Mgoqi said 17 of 32 branches had held their meetings and the rest should meet before next Friday’s deadline.
“It is going slowly but smoothly. There are some disputes where members are unhappy the branch meeting did not have a quorum, but the secretary-general will deal with that.”
ANC West Coast regional co-ordinator and party provincial organiser Mika Mahlaule said: “We are soldiering on. About 70 percent of branches have met so far and are ready.”
A Dullah Omar region working committee meets on Friday to try to resolve a row which erupted after Tyhalisisu on Sunday assured a ANC Youth League meeting that the region opposed Zuma.
Region deputy chairman Faizel Moosa slammed Tyhalisisu’s criticism of Zuma and said he had created a mistaken impression that the region’s rank-and-file members supported an ANCYL call for Zuma to be replaced when in fact many branches wanted Zuma to have a second term.
“I’m open to resolving this issue. We must all follow ANC processes as dictated by our constitution which says branches will make the [leadership] decision.
“The impression JJ created is unfair on branches. But I’m sure this matter will be addressed at the working committee.
“It is on the agenda,” Moosa said.
* The Western Cape ANC Women’s League said it would meet on Friday to discuss its choice for Mangaung.