Pretoria - The re-election of Oscar Mabuyane as the Eastern Cape ANC provincial chairperson is a major boost for ANC president Cyril Ramaphosa to get a second term at his party’s national elective conference in December.
This was the view expressed by political analyst Lukhanyo Vangqa after the ANC electoral commission at the East London International Convention Centre confirmed Mabuyane’s election.
Mabuyane contested the position against his former ally turned rival, former provincial treasurer and MEC for Public Works Babalo Madikizela. Mabuyane got 812 votes while Madikizela only managed to secure 662 votes.
Mabuyane’s ally, Mlungisi Mvoko also secured 812 votes to retain his position as deputy chairperson. Mvoko’s contender Xolile Nkompela managed to get 657 votes.
It was a clean sweep for Mabuyane’s slate, as the ANC’s Provincial Task Team co-ordinator Lulama Ngcukayitobi was also re-elected as provincial secretary with 807 votes while his contender and Amathole region secretary Teris Ntuthu got 667 votes.
Helen Sauls-August also retained her deputy secretary post after outsmarting Weziwe Tikana-Gxothiwe with 805 votes. Tikana-Gxothiwe secured 663 votes.
Despite being the loser, electoral officer Ncediswa Mathenjwa shocked the hall when he announced the results of former Nelson Mandela Bay councillor Andile Lungisa’s name first for the position of provincial treasurer. Like all people in Madikizela’s faction, Lungisa managed to secure under 700 votes.
But compared to his fellow slate members - he secured the highest votes by garnering 673, which means some of the Mabuyane’s faction may have voted for him.
However, Zolile Williams was elected provincial treasurer after securing 799 votes - a position previously held by Madikizela when he featured in Mabuyane’s faction during 2017’s chaotic elective conference.
Commenting on the outcome of the election of the top five, Vangqa said it was a clean sweep for Mabuyane’s faction saying the Eastern Cape ANC was likely to support Ramaphosa in December.
“It was a clean sweep. The margins were very wide. Mabuyane won more than 150 votes. It was a huge difference. It is quite a resounding victory for Mabuyane. It is very clear that the ANC in the Eastern Cape would support Ramaphosa at the ANC’s national conference,” Vangqa said.
He said Ramaphosa had no option but to put his support and trust in Mabuyane saying he does not have support in KwaZulu-Natal - the biggest ANC province in the country.
“So the Eastern Cape had confirmed itself as the second biggest province in the country and for Ramaphosa to win the party’s national elective conference, he has to rely on support from the Eastern Cape,” Vangqa said
But another political analyst Sandile Swana was not optimistic about the outcome of the elections. Swana said the outcome had left a bitter taste on the losers saying some of them, especially those who lost their close friends in deadly factional battles ahead of the conference, were likely to challenge the outcome in court.