Ace Magashule. File photo: Timothy Bernard

Sasolburg - Delegates going to the African National Congress’s elective conference in Mangaung must select the best of the best, Free State premier Ace Magashule said on Thursday.

“Choose the best of the best... The tried and tested of the African National Congress,” he said in Sasolburg.

Magashule urged delegates at the provincial nomination conference to forget about their province, ethnic group, or tribe when electing national leaders.

“These days we are told to count the number of Zulus in the NEC (national executive committee)... Tribalism is what we fought against for many years. Black in general, African in particular... That is what ANC leadership should reflect.”

He urged the delegates to use their conscience when selecting party leaders, and not base their decision on which province the person was from.

Those who would lead the ANC after the party's Mangaung conference should neither be chosen on fame, nor because they were a Cabinet minister.

People who asked to be nominated were the problem, he said.

“If you put someone (in charge) who pleads for leadership you’re inviting trouble.”

Magashule rejected views that certain ANC structures were confined to nominating only either men or women.

“The ANC Women's League is an integral part of the ANC. The Women's League is not going to give us a list and say ‘elect these women’. Before you become a member of the ANC Women’s League you have to become a member of the ANC.”

On the chances of ANC president Jacob Zuma serving a second term, he said: “I’m very convinced the people of this country love Jacob Zuma. Don’t worry about surveys.”

Names from the branch nominations were announced just before 10pm. Zuma emerged unopposed during the branch nomination process. - Sapa