(File photo) John Block. Photo: Bongiwe Mchunu

Johannesburg - Northern Cape ANC chairman John Block has vehemently denied that the party in his province manipulated its members to support President Jacob Zuma’s bid for a second term in Mangaung.

Zuma was nominated unopposed, but delegates were divided on who should be his deputy - between businessman Cyril Ramaphosa and the president’s current deputy, Kgalema Motlanthe, who was eventually given the nod.

Addressing the party’s provincial general council on Friday, Block said the provincial ANC leadership neither interfered with nor influenced the branches in voting.

He lambasted political opponents, calling them names, questioning their ANC credentials and accusing them of being “habitual factionalists” hell-bent on dividing the ruling party.

He denied purging or targeting his rivals, especially from the Frances Baard region, which included Kimberley.

Block took a swipe at other ANC provinces for publicly endorsing their preferred candidates, saying they had compromised the fairness of the nomination processes.

“The ANC in the Northern Cape did not manipulate the branches… There was no incidence of violence, disruptions and fights. We did not interfere in the branches’ nomination processes. We allowed branches to express their freedom when making their nominations,” he said.

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The Star