Zuma looks set for 2nd term

There is still a big question mark over who will serve as the deputy president of the ANC.

ANC President Jacob Zuma at the party's policy conference in Midrand on 26 June 2012. Picture: Taurai Maduna/EWN

JOHANNESBURG - While President Jacob Zuma has come up as the favourite after majority of provinces nominated him to lead the party for a second term, there is still a big question mark over the position of deputy president.

KwaZulu-Natal, Eastern Cape, Mpumalanga, Free State and Northern Cape all backed Zuma to continue leading the ANC ahead of the party's national elective conference which will get underway on 16 December in Mangaung.

National executive member Cyril Ramaphosa appears to be the preferred candidate over incumbent Kgalema Motlanthe, with the party's KwaZulu-Natal, Mpumalanga and Eastern Cape regions nominating him to take over.

Meanwhile, Gauteng and the ANC Youth League (ANCYL) endorsed Motlanthe to take over from Zuma, but the deputy president has made no indication he will accept the nomination.

Political analyst Steven Friedman said although many ANC regions have backed Ramaphosa to take over as deputy president, he has yet to show his hand.

He said for the sake of peace, there may be a negotiated settlement on who will be deputy president.

"Factions in the ANC are very busy at the moment, trying to work out a compromise to avoid an election."

But fellow political analyst Karima Brown said uniting the party would be the most important task after Mangaung.

"If Motlanthe contests the positions and loses, what is going to happen to him?"

Analysts are in agreement that Motlanthe may be ousted from the party if he decides to run against Zuma, who appears to be perfectly placed for a second term at the helm.

The ANC's Limpopo, Western Cape and North West regions missed the Friday deadline to submit their nominations.