Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma File picture: Antoine de Ras/Independent Media

Mahikeng - The African National Congress (ANC) in the Ngaka Modiri Molema district in the North West has come out in support of former African Union Commission chairperson Dr Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma to lead the party, regional secretary Boy Noko said on Wednesday.

He further said that the region supported Jacob Zuma as current ANC president and president of the country until the 2019 election. The ANC is expected to hold its elective conference in December. 

"Conference has also mandated the regional executive committee to lobby other branches, regions and the province to support the nomination of Cde Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma as the first women president of the ANC and the country," he told reporters in Mahikeng, following the region's elective conference.

Deputy regional chairperson, Oabile Seabelo, said Dlamini Zuma was the ideal presidential candidate as her name had not been tarnished, she had served as a minister in different portfolios and there was less conflict in Africa during her tenure as AU commission chairperson.

"It is our mandate, it is our responsibility to ensure that women are empowered and given space to exist..."

He said there was no written record that the ANC deputy president must be president.

"President Jacob Zuma contested president Thabo Mbeki in Polokwane, in Mangaung President Zuma was contested by Kgalema Motlanthe. There is no record that deputy president automatically become the president," he said.

"It is unfortunate for Cde Cyril [Ramaphosa] this is the turn for women. And Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma is the credible leader to lead the ANC."

Dlamini Zuma is supported by the ANC Women's League, while Congress of SA Trade Unions and the SA Communist Party support deputy president Cyril Ramaphosa, stating that it had been the tradition and culture of the ANC that deputy presidents end up being presidents of the ANC.

The Ngaka Modiri Molema region further support Mpumalanga premier David Mabuza to be the deputy president, national chairperson Baleka Mbete as the second deputy president, Gwede Mantashe as the national chairperson, Free State premier Ace Magashule as the secretary general, Jessie Duarte as deputy secretary general, and Maite Nkoane Mashabane as the treasurer general.

The ANC in the North West said the regional conference went well according to the party’s rules and constitution.

"It is just unfortunate that some amongst our comrades have made faceless allegations in the media, with nefarious intentions influenced by their desire to get an outcome of their wishes. It is obvious that when such wishes do not emerge, the next step is then to lodge a grievance so as to tarnish the outcomes of the regional conference," said provincial secretary Dakota Legoete.

He said those who threatened to take the ANC to court did not meet the required threshold of 25 percent to be in the ballot paper, and that became clear when conference voted for the credentials report after a debate that lasted more than two hours. 

"Some of the comrades participated in all conference proceedings, but decided to snub the voting process after realising that the outcome would not favour them."

Disgruntled members had threatened to take the ANC to court on allegations that the conference was structured in way to sway votes to a faction aligned to North West premier and ANC provincial chairperson Supra Mahumapelo.

Noko said those who had raised concerns during the conference were concerned about credentials of delegates from three branches.