Johannesburg - The provinces of Limpopo and the North West are the latest to throw their weight behind presidential hopeful Dr Zweli Mkhize.
Independent Media has been reliably informed by two highly placed provincial delegates and leaders at the conference that negotiations between the two provinces were “done and dusted” and had been “closed with no room left for negotiation”.
According to the first insider, who preferred to remain anonymous as he was not authorised to speak to the media, there was a discussion last night encompassing North West delegates and leaders which took a decision to back Mkhize over President Cyril Ramaphosa.
“As the North West we had not pronounced on the preferred presidential candidate, only on the deputy where we endorsed Paul Mashatile.
“We gave the current leadership a chance and we have seen that they have no programmes, state enterprises are in tatters and have no plans on how to grow the economy and take our people out of poverty. Therefore, the delegates and leaders have taken a posture to support Mkhize.
“We have 361 delegates and we will all vote as a bloc and no one will defy,” he said.
Another insider said the Limpopo delegates had decided to break ranks and support Mkhize after realising that the situation had become hopeless.
“The economy is bad, our people are starving, we have load shedding, unemployment, no opportunities and the organisation is on the brink of collapse. We have become a laughing stock and we need someone who is humble and in touch with our people to lead the party,” he said.
What this means is that Mkhize now has Limpopo, the North West, the Free State, KwaZulu-Natal, Gauteng and 50% of the Eastern Cape behind him. Insiders say the Northern cape and Western Cape are still a work in progress but those on the ground are fully behind him.
On Friday, things got off to a rocky start as members of the ANC heckled Ramaphosa as he delivered his 32-page political report.
The president received a cold reception at the conference, which indicates that not all is well in his bid for a second term. The conference has been marred by allegations of vote buying and delays as close to 700 delegates were left stranded and unregistered on Friday.