Last minute horse trading with KwaZulu-Natal sees Limpopo delegates at odds over voting for Ramaphosa

One of the most dramatic twists of the 55th ANC national elective conference is the last-minute drama and confusion about which way the Limpopo delegation was going to vote in the leadership contests, especially around the party’s top job.
More than 4,000 delegates were expected to start voting on Sunday 18 December 2022, on the third day of the conference. The biggest contest is between incumbent President Cyril Ramaphosa and former health minister Zweli Mkhize, who are wrestling it out for the position of the party’s president.
With 613 voting delegates in the conference, Limpopo has the third largest voting bloc in the ANC and trails only KwaZulu-Natal, which has 877 delegates and Eastern Cape, which has 684 delegates.
The Limpopo delegates were mandated by their branches to vote for Cyril Ramaphosa for the position of ANC president and Limpopo Premier and ANC chairperson Stan Mathabatha as non-negotiable positions, and be open for discussion and persuasion by other provinces on the other top positions.
But it is believed that Mathabatha lobbyists were persuaded to dump Ramaphosa in favour of Zweli Mkhize in return for KwaZulu-Natal putting its full weight behind Mathabatha. But it was not Mathabatha who attempted to deliver the change-of-heart decision to the Limpopo delegates.
It was his deputy Florence Radzilani – a former mayor of Vhembe municipality who is accused of the shenanigans involving the looting of the VBS Bank – who addressed the “shocked” delegates on Saturday, claiming the provincial executive committee has decided to dump Ramaphosa and go with Mkhize instead.
Radzilani is said to have told delegates that the province will stick with Mathabatha on the position of chairperson and that his chances would be greatly enhanced by a strong support from KZN delegates.
However, on Sunday morning Limpopo Provincial Executive Committee (PEC) member Reuben Madadzhe distanced the province from “some statements making rounds in various media platforms wherein an unfortunate impression was created that we have deserted the outcomes of Branch General Meetings.
“The ANC Limpopo Province stands by its decision and also supports the outcomes of Limpopo BGM’S [branch general meetings] which affirmed Cde Cyril Ramaphosa for President, Paul Mashatile: Deputy President, Cde Mdumiseni Ntuli: Secretary General, Cde Nomvula Mokonyane: Deputy Secretary General, Chauke Bejani: Treasurer General and Cde Stanley Mathabata as the Preferred National Chairperson.
“We further urge all delegates from Limpopo and beyond to exercise their right to elect leadership in accordance with the mandate of their respective branches,” ...
18 Dec 2022 7AM English South Africa News · News Commentary

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