Newly elected ANC President Oscar Mabuyane has tightened his grip on party structures in the Eastern Cape after being re-elected as provincial leader alongside Mlungisi Mvoko, Lulama Ngcukayitobi, Helen Sauls-August and Zolile Williams .
Williams is the only newcomer to the group, filling the post of treasurer that was once held by Mabuyane competitor Babalo Madikizela.
Mabuyane’s victory will boost ANC President Cyril Ramaphosa’s re-election campaign. The Eastern Cape will have a significant number of delegates to the national conference, which is expected to take place at the end of the year and with Mabuyane’s backing, Ramaphosa could be looking for a comfortable victory.
— Queenin Masuabi (@Queenin_M) May 9, 2022
Speaking to the media after the results were announced, Mabuyane expressed the need for party chairman Cyril Ramaphosa to be endorsed. He then praised Ramaphosa for being brave enough to take important steps towards the renewal of the organization.
“I know the people of the Eastern Cape, including ANC members from the Eastern Cape, would like to see the president move forward. This country needs the caliber of a president.
“President Cyril Ramaphosa is a president… this downward spiral trend is not something that happened overnight, we have seen it over time. Surely anyone who is serious about the country, serious about the future of our people cannot think away from a person like President Cyril Ramaphosa,” he said.
Of the 1,477 votes cast, Mabuyane managed to obtain 812 while his opponent Madikizela only managed to obtain 662 votes.
The unexpected happened when former Nelson Mandela Bay councilor Andile Lungisa received fewer votes than Williams, who is currently Joe Gqabi’s city manager. While Lungisa was initially the only member to reach the threshold to contest the position of treasurer, a nomination for Williams came from the floor. Williams received 799 votes while Lungisa only received 673.
The next conference that will have a significant impact on the outcome of the December national conference is that of the province of KwaZulu-Natal in some months. The eThekwini region was won by opponents of Ramaphosa and with Zandile Gumede back at the helm, it could be a tough nut to crack for the ruling party leader.
Ramaphosa was due to arrive in the Eastern Cape on Monday to deliver the conference’s closing address.
Delays and Disruptions
The weekend’s nomination and election process hit a snag when opposing slates couldn’t agree on conference credentials.
Madikizela-aligned delegates were still unhappy with the involvement of Dr WB Rubusana’s region in the voting process. This is despite their court trying to bar the region from taking part in the conference struck out with costs by East London High Court on Saturday night.
There were also questions about veterans who were on the list of voting delegates. Some argued that there was no legitimate veterans structure in the province, so it made no sense for them to participate.
Provincial task force communications officer Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams, aligned with Mabuyane’s Buya list, also mentioned that Madikizela supporters were disrupting proceedings by singing while credentials were being discussed.
Mlibo Qoboshiyane’s move to Babalo Madikizela’s slate could upset ANC Eastern Cape leadership race – here’s how
It also allayed fears that the conference could fall apart or that the tension between the opposing teams could lead to a repeat of the 2017 “party of chairs” chaos.
“No one is going to take a chair, security has been tightened inside,” Ndabeni-Abrahams said.
The steering committee, made up of members of the ANC’s National Executive Committee (NEC), met to find a way to deal with these issues and then tried again to present the credentials report.
The second time around, the process went smoothly, with delegates reaching consensus, which meant that credentials could finally be passed.
Once this process was completed, the nominations were finally announced.
Mabuyane and Madikizela were announced as the candidates vying for the post of president along with the other candidates vying for the remaining top five positions. DM
UPDATE: ANC President Cyril Ramaphosa was all smiles as he arrived at the International Convention Center in East London on Monday afternoon. This was shortly after his ally, Oscar Mabuyane, managed to land another term as the party’s provincial president.
The president is riding the wave of unity and renewal to try to get the party back in shape and pave his own way to the national conference, in hopes of being re-elected.
He began by praising the Eastern Cape structures for electing leaders under precarious conditions, which nearly led to the collapse of the conference. Ramaphosa then urged members to end all kind of lobbying and instead encouraged them to unite under elected leadership.
“It is therefore vital that the Eastern Cape ANC unites behind the leaders elected at this conference. We must do this regardless of our leadership preferences… The intensity of the leadership contests at our conferences should not prevent us from moving forward as a united and strong organization.
“Indiscipline, factionalism and other deviant tendencies continue to plague our movement. This movement must be principled and decisive in addressing instances of poor discipline, divisiveness and all evils that disrupt organizational ethics and processes,” he said.
Ramaphosa further spoke of reviving the Eastern Cape economy and finding more opportunities to attract investment to the province.
“Responding effectively to the challenges facing the Eastern Cape and our country, in particular job creation and the fight against poverty, requires a strong and united ANC, committed to serving the people.
“We must ensure that commercialization does not disadvantage small subsistence cannabis growers, and the government will put in place mechanisms to support and protect small subsistence growers,” Ramaphosa said during his closing remarks at the conference.