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NEC posts expected to go to Zuma’s allies

Some delegates voting for the party’s NEC said they would show no mercy to pro-change candidates.

Supporters of President Jacob Zuma celebrate his re-election as ANC President in Mangaung on 18 December 2012. Picture: Taurai Maduna/EWN

MANGAUNG - A strong show of support for candidates aligned to ANC president Jacob Zuma is expected in the voting booths as party delegates cast ballots for national executive committee (NEC) members at Mangaung on Wednesday.

The nominations process for the NEC concluded late Tuesday night, with several candidates aligned to Kgalema Motlanthe withdrawing their nominations.

These include former deputy secretary general Thandi Modise and Mpumalanga Premier David Mabuza, who have not yet clarified why they pulled out of the race.

Zuma won a second term as ANC president with an overwhelming majority.

THE JACOB ZUMA NEC

Delegates will on Wednesday cast their ballots for the NEC election and Zuma allegiances are likely to sway votes.

Some delegates voting for the party's NEC said they would show no mercy to candidates aligned to the "forces of change".

Yesterday, all the candidates on Zuma's slate were voted into power in the top six elections, and delegates attending the Mangaung conference said they would make sure the same happened in the NEC.

Delegates from Limpopo and Gauteng told Eyewitness News they are clearly outnumbered by the KwaZulu-Natal contingent and some of them have already left the conference.

While Motlanthe supporters are still reeling from his exit from ANC leadership, Zuma supporters said they were in control of the conference.

At the same time, questions are being asked about Motlanthe's future after he turned down a nomination for the NEC last night.

The deputy president may now feel that the ANC no longer want him in a leadership position, and thus he should step down from his government job.

But President Zuma may feel that he should ask Motlanthe to stay on in the interests of party unity

But Motlanthe's decision to decline a nomination to the ANC's NEC may be an indication that he feels properly rejected by the party after 15 years in the top six.

ANC secretary general Gwede Mantashe said he had spoken to Motlanthe and that the deputy president said he was not disappointed by his position.

"In the ANC, every member has the right to elect and be elected."

Mantashe said Motlanthe had the choice to stand for both the ANC presidency and deputy presidency, and made a decision on his own.

The ruling party will now have to deal with the fallout of the election and attempt to unify the party.

Political analyst and renowned academic Adam Habib predicted it would be a real challenge.

"This is a very divided organisation. Although Zuma won 80 percent of the support, he lost 20 percent.

"That 20 percent is significant, in particular because it also represents Gauteng and Gauteng is the heart of the economy.

"So if I was Jacob Zuma I'd be worried, and I wouldn't be too complacent about this election."

The results of the NEC elections will give us a better indication of just how united the party is.

POST MANGAUNG PLANS

Several closed sessions will be held today with commissions reporting back on policy decisions.

The ANC says the conference has been slightly delayed, but leaders are confident the time will be regained.

Newly-elected ANC Treasurer General Zweli Mkhize yesterday said his first task would be to ensure that South Africans were reassured by the policy resolutions that adopted during commissions.

"When we finish, people must be able to see that there is… hope for the South African community as a whole."

He said the country's citizens should be able to envision a country with a healthy economy and one where the unemployment crisis is eradicated.

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