South Africans will most likely on Monday hear who the new African National Congress (ANC) president will be. The election process started late Sunday afternoon for the top six positions of the ANC. Blocks of 200 delegates were allowed to vote.
The election started after the outgoing deputy secretary-general, Jesse Duarte, earlier announced that the amount of delegates reduced by 517 after the verification process and the three court cases that ruled that the Provincial Executive Committee and branches in amongst other the Free State, KwaZulu-Natal and the North West were unlawfully constituted.
The nominations of the top 6 of the ANC were announced; however it was not with a few surprises. ANC Treasurer-General Mkhize was nominated for deputy President.
North West was the biggest loser during the verification and disqualification process shedding 92 of its original 538 delegates. Next was Limpopo with 76 delegates followed by Gauteng with 70 delegates. The Northern Cape lost only four delegates followed by the ANC Veterans League who lost five.
Despite the integrity of branches in Mpumalanga being questioned that province only lost 28 delegates. The winning candidate will now have to secure 2 389 votes to win.
Total tally of voting delegates is 4,776 and a candidate needs 2,389 or more to win the presidential post.
EC – 632
FS – 349
GP – 491
KZN – 804
LIM – 567
MPU – 708
NC – 193
NW – 446
WC – 136
PEC Delegations: 27 each except KZN and FS
Leagues – ANCYL 60 + ANCWL 60 + Veterans League 55
Political Analyst, Somadoda Fikeni, says the lost 517 votes will most likely have no effect on the end result of the vote. He however said if candidates withdrew their availability to stand for the positions, their supporters might still turn the race around.
“The biggest question is where they throw their support because that becomes important even if marginalised and also behind the scenes there is a lot of persuasion and others are trying to read who has the momentum. And if there is a signal that this candidate has the momentum the last minute many people can be swayed in that direction.”
Changes to the ANC’s Constitution were discussed during a closed plenary session. The structure of branches, regions as well as that of the National Executive Committee was debated. A Member of the Constitutional Amendments Committee of the ANC, Saul Zamani, believes the NEC’s structure will not change.
“It’s quite clear with my own assessment during plenary, it is quite clear the issue of the two deputy secretary generals won’t be able to survive and will be kicked out as well because I don’t think the people who are tabling the proposals will be able to get the constitutional requirement of the two thirds majority and in order to add another secretary-general you need a two thirds majority and it is quite clear that two third majority is elusive and they won’t be able to get it.”
The 54th ANC National Elective Congress started seven hours late on the first day and the second was no different. Duarte however said they are determined to finish the congress by Thursday.