Mail and Guardian

ANC secretary general Gwede Mantashe. (Gallo)
ANC secretary general Gwede Mantashe. (Gallo)

In a bid to eliminate the influence of slate politics the ANC provincial and regional structures will no longer participate in the consolidation of branch nominations for the top six leadership candidates.

“The NEC [national executive commitee] resolved to do away with the practice of consolidating nominations for leadership at a regional and provincial level. Branches must be given the right to nominate,” said ANC secretary general Gwede Mantashe.

 
 
 

He was speaking on Tuesday at a briefing held at the ANC’s headquarters in Johannesburg, where he outlined resolutions taken by the NEC at its Lekgotla last week.

Leadership nominations ahead of the party’s 54th national conference in December will now go directly to national level, a deviation from usual procedure which has seen votes filtered through to regional and provincial structures before reaching the party’s electoral commission.

Manstashe said the existing process allowed room for branch nominations to be tampered with.

“What we are saying is that we must outlaw, in terms of the NGC [national general council] resolutions, the question of the consolidation of those nominations at a regional and provincial level. In the process [they] get tampered with and we have a different outcome in the consolidation. If we don’t do that we are going to have a nomination driven by slates,” he said.

In its January 8 NEC statement, the ANC spoke strongly against the use of slate politics in electing new leaders.

“Branches of the ANC are the basic units and a repository of all decisions of the ANC. The power of ANC branches must therefore not be undermined by slates and lobby groups,” President Jacob Zuma said at the time.

This has not stopped the circulation of slates touting either former African Union Commission chair Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma or Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa for the top ANC position on lists that are being circulated and discussed by different factions.

Free State Premier Ace Magashule has also been touted as a presidential hopeful on a “surprise list” alleged to have been compiled by some ANC Youth League structures.

Mantashe said the party wants its electoral commission to be increased in size and to become more mobile to adequately monitor nominations at branch level.

“All we are saying is that when branches nominate, they must seal their nomination. Those nominations must be deposited at a central point. Regions and provinces can observe in the opening of those nominations,” he said.