A day after getting the nod from Gauteng province, African National Congress deputy president, Cyril Ramaphosa, emerged victorious as the preferred choice of the party in Limpopo.
The former Secretary General of the party whipped his opponent Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma by polling 391 votes to the latter’s 104. The provincial general council, held in Polokwane yesterday, was a festival of song and dance after the announcement of the results.
The special general council was not devoid of drama as the two warring factions took the battle to each other inside and outside the conference hall. Deliberations were suspended for a short time when a singing and chanting group, in support of Ramaphosa, disrupted provincial chair chair Stan Mathabatha.
In his address, Mathabatha nailed his colours to the CR17 mast. In a language devoid of diplomacy he condemned corruption and stated that “just like in Zimbabwe, we cannot be held hostage by one leader. We must fight corruption with all means at our disposal. No leader is above the African National Congress. The 54th conference must bring about change and all the corrupt leaders deserve to go to jail.”
The deputy Secretary General of the ANC was equally scathing, ” I have not in the ANC seen as much hatred in South Africa as I have seen in Limpopo Province comrades. This is due to low political consciousness. Limpopo was once a great ANC Province but look what it has become.”
When the results were announced, the overwhelmingly majority of delegates chose Cyril Ramaphosa. However, with Dlamini-Zuma having received 104 votes, the audience was a bit subdued as that kind of performance was not expected to a predominantly pro-Ramaphosa membership. Perhaps this was caused by the fact that the audience was contemplating what would emerge from Kwazulu Natal on the same day. Attempts to raise issues of fraud were cursorily dismissed.
The battle for the soul of South Africa’s foremost liberation movement is raging on. In a fortnight’s time the matter will be resolved at the 54th conference in Nasrec in Johannesburg.