The ANC provincial conference in North West has come down to competing forces within President Cyril Ramaphosa’s camp.
Ramaphosa enjoys the support of the four strong provincial chairperson candidates, which has also turned their lobby groups against each other.
While the president might be the biggest winner after the provincial conference, which is scheduled to start on Friday and end on Sunday, former chairperson Supra Mahumapelo might just spoil the party.
Premier Bushy Maape; former MP Nono Maloyi; the MEC for economic development, environment, conservation and tourism, Kenetswe Mosenogi; and interim provincial committee coordinator Hlomane Chauke are all vying for the chairperson position.
Mahumapelo is the only one in the five-horse race for the top post who does not support Ramaphosa, and he has made his feelings known. He is strongly aligned with the radical economic transformation forces.
With 316 branches confirmed to be in good standing ahead of the conference, Mahumapelo has the support equal to the other candidates. City Press has learnt that Maloyi, Mosenogi and Chauke’s camps have been talking about forming a coalition.
Sources say they are worried about him.
Although the four groups support Ramaphosa to get a second term at the national elective conference in December, their failure to work together is a concern.
They also do not agree on who should be the ANC deputy president – some want acting secretary-general Paul Mashatile, while others are pushing for a woman to hold that position. Meanwhile, the ANC Youth League will work with anyone who can guarantee that a young person gets into the top six.
The three-day conference will be held at the Rustenburg Civic Centre.
“We have agreed on the date, we are only waiting for the national dispute resolution committee to finalise a few outstanding appeals. We have resolved the majority of the disputes in the province and also managed to get other branches which did not qualify for various reasons to rectify their mistakes,” Chauke said, adding that they had more branches in good standing now compared with earlier this year, when the conference had been postponed.
Chauke was nominated by the women’s and the youth leagues, while Mahumapelo ran a quiet campaign with several lobby groups linked to him. His campaign got off to a difficult start when two branches – wards 19 and 96 – that had nominated him in Mahikeng were disqualified for not following the correct process.
But Mahumapelo managed to stage a comeback when he was nominated by branches in the Moretele Local Municipality of the Bojanala Platinum District Municipality. Maape, Maloyi and Mosenogi have been battling it out for support in the branches around the province. According to one lobby group, the conference will be won by the candidate who is willing to offer other candidates good deals.
One lobby group member said:
Deals will be sealed before the conference starts on Friday. At the moment, it looks like Bushy and Nono are emerging strongly, and it will depend on what they offer other candidates.
The source said Maape’s group seemed to have convinced Mosenogi to join them by offering her the treasury position. “Initially, she wanted to be Bushy’s deputy,” said the source.
Another source said Mahumapelo had indicated that he was willing to work with anyone as long as they had an agreement: “Supra is using this as a ticket to the national executive committee in December. He is willing to accept any position in the top five because he wants to use it to campaign to go to the national conference.”
Chauke said most of the branches in the Ngaka Modiri Molema, Dr Ruth Segomotsi Mompati, Dr Kenneth Kaunda and Bojanala Platinum district municipalities, which had taken the party to court, had reached a settlement out of court: “One of the cases, that of Mike Mkandawire, has also been resolved – when he was confirmed as the number one councillor at the Dr Ruth Segomotsi Mompati region. We are expecting the matter to be formally withdrawn.”
Mkandawire and several councillors, Speakers and mayors took the ANC to court when they were not sworn in after November’s local elections. Communities had claimed that some candidates were imposed on them.