ANC presidential hopeful, Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma

Rustenburg - The African National Congress (ANC) in the North West has named Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma as its preferred candidate to lead the party in December.

At the weekend, the ANC in the North West province resolved at its provincial general congress in Rustenburg to nominated and support Dlamini-Zuma as the candidate to contest the ANC presidency with Mpumalanga Premier David Mabuza as her deputy.

Free State Premier Ace Magashule was nominated to contest the secretary general position, Jessie Duarte for the first deputy secretary general, Eastern Cape Premier Phumulo Masualle for 2nd deputy secretary general, International Relations and Cooperation Minister Maite Nkoana-Mashabane for treasurer and Arts and Culture Minister Nathi Mthethwa for national chairperson.

Those nominated to contest positions as additional National Executive Committee members included ANC Provincial Secretary Dakota Legoete, Lerato Teme, Itumeleng Mosala, SA Communist Party North West deputy secretary Pat Motubatse, Environmental Affairs Minister Edna Molewa, North West Finance, Economy and Enterprise Development MEC Wendy Nelson, Pinky Moloi, ANC Youth League President Collen Maine, ANC Women's League General Secretary Meokgo Matuba, Rustenburg Mayor Mpho Khunou, Humphrey Mmemezi and Obed Bapela.

The ANCWL in North West had endorsed Dlamini-Zuma as its preferred presidential candidate, While the SA Communist Party and Congress of SA Trade Unions (Cosatu) preferred deputy president Cyril Ramaphosa.

North West Premier and ANC Provincial Chairperson Supra Mahumapelo said all positions in the ANC were available to be contested. He said it was incorrect to suggest that party deputy presidents automatically ascend to lead the ANC - a practice, which some senior party members have described as tradition.

"The is no such tradition. In Mangaung deputy president, Kgalema Motlanthe contested President Jacob Zuma. If there was such a tradition Kgalema [Motlanthe] was supposed to be the president," Mahumapelo said.

He said in Polokwane Zuma contested the position against former president Thabo Mbeki.

"We have nomination forms if the position of the president was reserved for deputy president it should not have been on the nomination form. All positions in the ANC are contested, all go through the nomination process," he said. 

Last week ANC secretary-general Gwede Mantashe said the ruling party will be in a crisis if  Zuma does not hand over the leadership reins to  his deputy, Ramaphosa. 

"If President Zuma, with experience, refuses to hand over to the DP [deputy president], we will be a crisis. Let us find a woman to be DP, for succession to be managed," said Mantashe. 

"I put this as an idea, I said branches must debate this idea. In the interests of the ANC, succession must be managed," he said. 

The other candidates in the leadership race are; Human Settlements Minister Lindiwe Sisulu, ANC Treasurer-General Zweli Mkhize - seen by some as a possible option for a unity ticket - as well as lawyer and former Mpumalanga premier, Mathews Phosa.