Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa File picture: Phando Jikelo/Independent Media

Durban - Branches that have taken the ANC in KwaZulu-Natal to court have started discussing the possible endorsement of Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa to lead the ANC next year.

Ramaphosa has received pockets of support in the ANC-led alliance to succeed President Jacob Zuma when he steps down.

However, the campaign for the deputy president may face an uphill battle in Zuma's home province of KZN, where African Union chairwoman, Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, is the preferred candidate.

The ANC Youth League has, at its regional congresses in parts of the province, officially endorsed Dlamini-Zuma to be the next to lead the ANC in 2017, and the country in 2019.

On Monday, one of the leaders that took the ANC to court told the Daily News the disgruntled branches had not yet all sat to make a pronouncement on endorsing Ramaphosa.

“We have started discussing the matter, but so far few of the branches have done so. Obviously, we do have an interest in the succession debate in the ANC,” said the leader, who asked not to be named.

The leader said it was too early to say now what their stand was on Ramaphosa.

“If one says anything, it would compromise those branches,” he said.

He also said they did not want to confuse matters while the court case challenging the legitimacy of the ANC KZN was still in court.

ANC members - Lawrence Dube, Sibahle Zikalala, Sifiso Mzangwa, Mzweni Ngcobo and Lindiwe Buthelezi - lodged an application with the Pietermaritzburg High Court to set aside and declare unlawful the resolutions of the conference and election of the provincial leadership.

Thirty-nine respondents, including the national leadership, ANC provincial chairman Sihle Zikalala, provincial executive committee members and the Electoral Institute of Southern Africa were cited as respondents in court papers.

Last week, the court hearing was postponed indefinitely after the KZN ANC made an interlocutory application, wherein they sought more documents from the applicants.

The group lodged the court case amid claims of purging of those members that had backed former premier and ANC chairman, Senzo Mchunu, who lost out to incumbent Sihle Zikalala in Pietermaritzburg last November.

Meanwhile, the Police and Prisons Civil Rights Union (Popcru) has added its voice of support to the Cosatu decision that Ramaphosa take over as the next ANC president.

The union made the pronouncement in the wake of two other Cosatu-affiliated unions - the Communications Workers Union (CWU) and National Health Education and Allied Workers Union (Nehawu) - calling on Zuma to resign.

Daily News