Kgosientso Ramokgopa.
Pretoria - Serious lobbying to find a replacement for Tshwane ANC chairperson Kgosientso “Sputla” Ramokgopa is set to intensify in the coming weeks as the party prepares for its regional conference.

The political temperature is expected to rise after five names were thrown into the leadership race.

In January, the Pretoria News reported about four possible candidates for the chairperson position, but the list has since increased.

At the time, the contest was believed to be between the incumbent deputy chairperson and council caucus leader Mapiti Matsena; Dr Kgoshi Maepa, who previously served in the regional executive committee; current regional secretary Paul Mojapelo and former MP Zweli Mohlala.

The latest candidate to join the list of contestants is the party’s regional spokesperson, Teboho Joala, whose name has been doing the rounds for months.

Mojapelo didn’t want to be drawn into the lobbying of individuals by branches, but said the nomination was beyond the control of the nominees.

“You can’t manipulate structures of the ANC and tell them who should be nominated. How do you bring them under one house and say don’t nominate so and so? They will tell you that it is their function to nominate,” he said.

Mojapelo said that following the nomination, delegates from branches will come together in an effort to persuade each other regarding the right candidates to take over leadership positions.

Asked whether he had accepted his nomination, he said: “The only time a person can accept a nomination is during conference when he or she is asked if he or she accepts the nomination. It is only then that an individual can say whether he or she is available or not. At the moment anyone who has been nominated will not tell you if he has accepted the nomination.”

The ANC Youth League in the region has expressed its wish to have the current regional deputy secretary George Matjila to replace Mojapelo as regional secretary.

The date for the conference has not yet been finalised, but it is likely to take place next month.

“We should be going to regional conference around mid-July,” Mojapelo said.

He said the region was busy with the verification process after the branch general meetings. “This week was our last week of such meetings.”

Mojapelo said the finalisation of the verification process would be followed by the drawing up of a roadmap towards the regional conference.

“We don’t want to be like other parts of the country where there is chaos. It has been very quiet and everything is smooth,” he said.

The party has 107 branches in Tshwane, of which only 95 qualify to go to the general meeting. 

“Out of the 95 we are sitting at between 78% and 80%. There are a number of branches that have not quorated. Because of that they might not go to the conference, but they have been given an opportunity to reconvene and form a quorum,” he said.

It was the first time the nomination process was not bedevilled by complaints of people that their names didn’t appear on the register, he said.

“Those who have lodged objections or disputes have been attended to. The branch general meetings that were supposed to rerun had been rerun. Everything is going smoothly. I am confident that the ANC in Gauteng will go into successful provincial and regional conferences,” Mojapelo said.

Pretoria News