Had ANC delegates not voted the way they did at the Nasrec conference, the ANC would probably be limping today, said Deputy President David Mabuza. Picture: Ayanda Ndamane/ African News Agency (ANA)

Johannesburg - Had ANC delegates not voted the way they did at the Nasrec conference, the ANC would probably be limping today, said Deputy President David Mabuza on Wednesday morning.

Mabuza was responding to media queries about the allegation that he had betrayed Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, and influence Mpumalanga delegates to vote for President Ramaphosa as ANC president and exchange of him being elected deputy party president.

Mabuza is on Wednesday in a campaign trail in KwaZulu-Natal Midlands accompanied by ANC provincial deputy chairperson Mike Mabuyakhulu and Higher Education Minister Naledi Pandor.  

The media wanted to know if he felt comfortable to convince voters in Moses Mabhida Region to vote for the ANC after he had Dlamini Zuma in favour of Ramaphosa in Nasrec.

The region is known to be dominated by former president Jacob Zuma and Dlamini-Zuma supporters who had pinned their hopes on him to win the conference.

When asked if he had indeed betrayed Dlamini-Zuma he said, "It is impossible”.

“I don’t imagine how in a conference of more than 5000 people, I would have known how each one of them voted.

“How people voted we don’t know since in a secret vote people vote the way they want and finally we see the results, which we have to accept,” he said.

Mabuza appealed to ANC members to put the outcome of the Nasrec conference behind them and focus on uniting the party, saying that the delegates had through voting for Ramaphosa and his national executive committee came up with a solution to the ANC's challenges.

“Remember, they (delegates) took certain people from this faction and took certain people from that faction and matched them. That means the branch delegates heard my voice, heard my story that said it looked like this person is making sense,” he said.

He said ahead of the conference the ANC was divided over certain issues and views “but once we have crossed that hurdle, there is a need for the ANC to be united again”.

“There are many things in the past that divided us, but we have jumped those hurdles and we are united again.

“Not all people who stand for the elections win, which is the nature of democracy,” said Mabuza.

The leaders visited the Siphumelele low-cost housing and informal settlement area in Howick, outside Pietermaritzburg, where Mabuza and Pandor promised to send young people back to tertiary institutions. Mabuza also promised to build a house for 22-year-old Busisiwe Ndlovu who is an orphan.

Political Bureau