NEWS

Avoid 'Ugly Head Of Vote Buying', ANC In Western Cape Tells Delegates

"There will be opportunities to influence or be influenced at the conference... We are calling on comrades to be ethical".

27/11/2017 14:27 SAST | Updated 27/11/2017 14:27 SAST

The Western Cape ANC has called on their branch delegates to avoid potential vote buying as the party moves towards the national elective conference next month.

The Western Cape ANC held its provincial general council (PGC) on Sunday, where it was revealed that the majority of branches want Cyril Ramaphosa to be the party's next president.

Ramaphosa beat all his rivals in the relatively small ANC province, with 121 out of 145 branch nominations. His closest rival, Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, could only muster 13 nominations.

Both the acting chairperson Khaya Magaxa and secretary Faiez Jacobs welcomed the results and urged those chosen to represent their branches next month to steer clear of potential temptation.

"There will be opportunities to influence or be influenced at the conference. We are saying quite clearly to the delegates that 'you are in a fortunate position to represent the will of your branch'," Jacobs told the media.

We are calling on our comrades to be ethical, to have integrity and to ensure they express the will of their branches.

They added that the party would do their best to insulate delegates from "the ugly head of vote buying", but acknowledged it was important that delegates be given the freedom to make ethical decisions for themselves.

Siphiwe Sibeko / Reuters
South Africa's President Jacob Zuma dances with former African Union chairperson Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma and South Africa's Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa during the last day of the six-day meeting of the African National Congress 5th National Policy Conference at the Nasrec Expo Centre in Soweto, South Africa, July 5, 2017.

"What we will say is, if they take the money, then they don't represent the will of their branch, and we will still have the core leadership challenges [we've always had]."

The "checks and balances" they have instituted include photographic evidence of each branch's preferred nominations being sent to both provincial and national leaders.

The party will therefore have a general indication of which way their delegates should vote going into the secret ballot process in Johannesburg next month.

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They will also hold "political education" talks with delegates over the next three weeks, Jacobs added.

ANC secretary general Gwede Mantashe also warned delegates earlier in the day of the pitfalls of selling their votes during his keynote address.

Acting provincial chairperson Khaya Magaxa said the process of collating all nominations through branch general meetings (BGMs) was a win for internal democracy.

The outcomes should thus represent the will of the branches and not vote buying.

If we don't do that, we will be undermining this whole process of BGMs.Khaya Magaxa

The Western Cape is the second province to complete its PGC and the second to support Ramaphosa after Northern Cape branches also chose to back the CR17 campaign.

It is the smallest province by branch delegates this year, a title previously held by the Northern Cape, and only represents 3.8% of the party's total membership.

It will take 145 delegates to the national conference and another 27 provincial executive members to form part of its voting block.

Other results on Sunday include Human Settlements Minister Lindiwe Sisulu receiving the most votes for the position of deputy president, with 98 branch nominations.

Incumbent secretary general Gwede Mantashe was chosen as the preferred candidate for the position of national chairperson, with 128 branch nominations.

Other key positions include:

- secretary general: Senzo Mchunu - 113

- deputy secretary general: Zingiswa Losi - 60

- treasurer general: Paul Mashatile - 127

Magaxa said earlier that the province still has around 10 disputes to resolve over select branch nominations, but their resolution would not affect the material results.

Their delegation will now try and lobby others to support Ramaphosa's campaign going into the national conference next month, he said.

"Even those who have nominated otherwise, it will be our responsibility to convince them that the democratic will in the Western Cape is to support the name of comrade Cyril Ramaphosa as the president of the ANC."

-- News24