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EC ANC nomination hit by rigging claims

Motlanthe supporters in the Eastern Cape accuse the Zuma camp of trying to rig the voting process.

Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe speaks during a post cabinet briefing on 31 May 2012. Picture: SAPA.

JOHANNESBURG - The ANC's nomination process to decide between President Jacob Zuma and Kgalema Motlanthe has been hit by huge disputes, with accusations of vote rigging flying around throughout the night in the party's second biggest province of the Eastern Cape.

That conference has now ground to a halt, while electoral officials announce who won the Gauteng nomination.

Zuma has won in the Free State and Mpumalanga after winning in KwaZulu-Natal over the weekend.

Mpumalanga was the first ANC province to make its formal nomination known overnight, backing Zuma with Cyril Ramaphosa as his deputy.

Then the Free State followed saying it also wants Zuma.

But ANC Provincial Secretary William Bulwane said their list is different.

"Comrade Baleka Mbete will be the deputy president of the ANC, Comrade Ace Magashule will be the national chairperson, Comrade Gwede Mantashe will be the secretary general of the ANC."

The Free State is the first province that is backing Zuma for president, but not Ramaphosa for his deputy.

The focus throughout the day is likely to be on the Eastern Cape since it is the only province with the numbers to challenge KwaZulu-Natal.

Overnight, SMS messages from Motlanthe supporters claim leaders there are trying to rig the process in favour of Zuma.

The process will resume at 9am on Friday.

Meanwhile, the Eastern Cape ANC's Mlibo Qoboshiyane denied the rigging claims.

"That is utter nonsense, there's absolutely no proof. It is impossible to rig it."

MOTLANTHE STILL IN THE RACE

It now appears that Motlanthe is still in the race for Mangaung after the Gauteng ANC decided to formally back him to take over from Zuma.

This means Motlanthe now has what he needs to formally contest the race.

The Gauteng ANC's Nkenke Kekana said, "Tokyo Sexwale will be the deputy president and Gwede Mantashe will be secretary general."