Johannesburg - Senzo Mchunu’s supporters have called for a recount of the votes at the ANC national conference, claiming that irregularities in the counting process cheated the former KZN premier of the position of secretary-general of the party.
These delegates claim that 68 “special votes” were not counted and that these could have swung the poll in favour of Mchunu, who lost the contest to Free State Premier Ace Magashule .
The difference between the two men was a mere 24 votes. So close was the margin that when the results were announced, Mchunu’s supporters celebrated and hoisted him up thinking that he had won.
Mchunu had appeared on the slate of Cyril Ramaphosa who was crowned the new ANC president on Monday night after pipping Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma by 179 votes.
Mchunu’s chief campaigner and lobbyist, Jomo Sibiya, confirmed that the pro-Ramaphosa faction was meeting earlier on Tuesday to consider the issue.
“What happened is that when 68 delegates arrived at the voting station their names did not appear on the voters roll despite them being properly accredited.
"A decision was then taken that these delegates should be allowed to cast special votes. These were then cast, put in envelopes, sealed and put in a box,” said Sibiya.
He however said that when the counting was done, the 68 special votes were not counted and these cheated Mchunu of a chance to become secretary-general.
“These are delegates from Nongoma in KwaZulu-Natal, from the Dullah Omar region in the Western Cape and from Vhembe in Limpopo and I can tell you all those people supported Mchunu,” said Sibiya.
They were planning to take the issue to plenary but this was bound to create further tensions at the conference as the Dlamini Zuma supporters were also putting up a fight.
The Dlamini Zuma faction says instead of allowing a recount for there should rather be a rerun of the election for all the top six positions.
Supra Mahumapelo, who supported Dlamini Zuma, said the issue of the votes should have been raised during the counting stage and questioned how Mchunu supporters know who the 68 delegates voted for.
The matter was expected to be discussed by delegates at the plenary session on Tuesday.