IN WHAT appears to be a blow to President Jacob Zuma’s bid for a second term in Mangaung, most Gauteng ANC branches in which senior party leaders aligned with him are members have rejected the ANC leader.
Instead they have nominated his deputy, Kgalema Motlanthe, giving him a runaway lead in the country’s economic hub.
Over the past week, branches in which pro-Zuma ANC national executive committee members and businessmen are members have snubbed the president – despite allegations of patronage, threats and the use of money to buy votes in Zuma’s favour.
The branches of Zuma adviser Lindiwe Zulu, Zuma’s alleged funders the Gupta brothers, former spy boss Moe Shaik, Science and Technology Minister Derek Hanekom and NEC (national executive committee) member Billy Masetlha have all nominated Motlanthe.
SACP leader Blade Nzimande and Gauteng Premier Nomvula Mokonyane’s bran- ches were found not to be in good standing to be represented in Mangaung. The outcome, which is potentially embarrassing to the Zuma camp, started on Sunday last week at Zulu’s branch in ward 103, Sandton.
The fire spread to the Saxonwold branch – where the Gupta brothers are members – before engulfing Hanekom, Masetlha and Shaik’s branches.
“Zuma supporters and members of the NEC have been rejected by branches. They started with Gwede Mantashe in Boksburg, Derek Hanekom in Ward 66, Moe Shaik in Pretoria and Billy Masetlha in Soweto. Moe Shaik proposed the name of JZ in their meeting, but the members rejected it. They voted for Kgalema,” said a source.
Mokonyane’s branch in Kagiso on the West Rand and Nzimande’s in Ward 88, Emmarentia, were given red cards because they were found not to be in good standing.
However, the premier and Nzimande will attend the conference in their capacities as NEC members.
ANC insiders in Gauteng said Motlanthe had received support from four out of its five regions. Only the Ekurhuleni region had voted for Zuma.
A total of 54 ANC branches in Ekurhuleni had voted for Zuma, while Motlanthe was supported by 21 branches. The other 92 branches had yet to nominate.
In Tshwane, nine branches had voted for Zuma, while 59 had nominated Motlanthe.
Motlanthe had also got the nod from the Joburg region, where 50 branches nominated him against Zuma’s 34.
On the West Rand, 37 branches nominated Motlanthe to Zuma’s 28. In Sedibeng, Motlanthe got 20 branches while Zuma secured 17.
ANC branch members in Ekurhuleni have laid the blame on their regional secretary. They accused him of having set up a co-ordinating team to disrupt every meeting where Motlanthe was supposed to have been nominated in the region.
The members also alleged Christian “Dubula” Thunywa had been among people who intimidated branches to vote for Zuma. Thunywa, a member of the Ekurhuleni metro, denied the allegation.
Meanwhile, nominations at Ward 41, the Thomas Nkobi branch near Spruitview, Ekurhuleni, which were marred by threats last Sunday, nominated Motlanthe.