Mangaung delegates vote

ANC delegates are now voting for new leaders following several delays.

ANC President Jacob Zuma. Picture: ANC Pix

MANGAUNG - Delegates at the ANC's 53rd national conference in Mangaung are now voting for new leaders.

This as various commissions continue with their work on Monday evening.

Commissions on strategy and tactics, and organisational renewal are believed to be taking place at the same time as the voting process for the ruling party's top six.

An earlier proposal by the electoral commission to have Free State and North West delegates vote on separate ballots was rejected by the plenary.

This was to make provision for the possibility of the Constitutional Court declaring the election invalid due to their participation.

Delegates are voting in groups of 200 and no cellphones and electronic devices are allowed in the venue.

The voting process has been delayed by several hours and is expected to last into the early hours of Tuesday morning.

Election results are also expected tomorrow morning.

BATTLE LINES DRAWN

Earlier in the day, the nomination process was finalised with the announcement of candidates for the ruling party's top six positions.

There were withdrawals by at least five candidates, with Kgalema Motlanthe declining a nomination for the post of Deputy President.

Instead, he will go head-to-head with President Jacob Zuma for the ANC's top job.

Several provincial leaders were also nominated to serve on the ANC's National executive Committee (NEC).

Gauteng ANC chairperson Paul Mashatile and KwaZulu-Natal chair Zweli Mkhize will both contest for the position of Treasurer General.

Free State ANC chairperson Ace Magashule was nominated for the position of chairperson, but he told delegates he would withdraw as a candidate in favour of the incumbent Baleka Mbete.

He urged his supporters to vote for her instead.

Cyril Ramaphosa will have to fight off challenges from Mathews Phosa and Tokyo Sexwale for the position of Deputy President.

Gwede Mantashe is up against Fikile Mbalula for the powerful position of secretary general.

ANC veteran Jessie Duarte will stand unopposed for deputy secretary general.

Meanwhile, the ANC Youth League (ANCYL) said it was unfazed by the resounding support Zuma received during the nomination process.

The Young Lions have actively campaigned for Motlanthe.

Acting ANCYL President Ronald Lamola says, "For us, voting is not [about the] clapping of hands and singing - it is by secret ballot. I think it will produce what we expect (a Motlanthe win)."