North West - North West Premier and African National Congress (ANC) provincial chairperson Supra Mahumapelo has heaped praise on President Jacob Zuma, saying he had done a "sterling work" for the country and that he was a "highly principled leader".
He made the remarks during a women's cadres assembly at the Klerksdorp auditorium, Klerksdorp, in North West on Thursday.
ANC presidential candidate Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma is expected to deliver the keynote address at the packed auditorium.
Mahumapelo said: "We as ANC in this province - our view is that President Jacob Zuma has done sterling work for this country, despite all the barrage of attacks sustained on him. He demonstrated that he is a leader who is highly principled in the value systems of the ANC. He has done so well. Now he is left with three-and-a-half months to vacate the position of ANC president."
He lashed out at those who did not want Zuma to finish his term as ANC leader, and called on the detractors to instead join the ANC faithful in celebrating Zuma's tenure at the helm during planned farewell bashes.
Mahumapelo, who forms part of the so-called Premier League faction that wants Dlamini-Zuma to succeed Zuma when he steps down as ANC leader in December, predicted that the former AU Commission chairperson would be elected the next ANC president.
He said venue at the Gallagher Convention Centre had been booked and paid for already for the much-anticipated conference, where Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa also wants to be elected the next president.
But Mahumapelo said: "On December 18, after lunch, there will be a new president. So I'm preparing you in advance. There will be a new president on December 18, after lunch. That president will be a woman and that woman will be Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma. This is what is on the December 18 ... All of us will abide by decision of that conference."
He added that ANC structures had been "whispering very nicely" to him as ANC provincial chairperson, saying they agreed with the ANC Women's League call for Dlamini Zuma to become the next president.