Fear of vote buying at ANC elective conference

Warning as South African ruling party prepares for critical vote

South African President Jacob Zuma (left), presidential hopefuls Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma (centre) and South African Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa. PHOTO | AFP 

IN SUMMARY

  • ANC has warned delegates that those representing leading candidates may try to buy their votes.
  • The ANC’s conference takes place from December 16 to 20 at the Nasrec Expo Centre in Johannesburg.

With nine days go before the African National Congress (ANC) elective conference, South Africa's ruling ANC party is calling on delegates to reject bribes in exchange for their votes.

ANC has warned delegates that those representing leading candidates may try to buy their votes.

Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa and former African Union Commission chairperson Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma have emerged as frontrunners in the race.

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READ:The ANC dilemma: Torn between Dlamini-Zuma and Ramaphosa

The delegates

Branches have nominated their preferred candidates for the party’s leadership, but they will have to trust that the delegates they send to the conference vote according to their nomination and mandate.

ANC spokesperson Zizi Kodwa said vote buying was a reality for the ANC.

“We want to do away with this phenomenon this time around. We are currently verifying that all branches that sat through the provincial general councils, which nominated leaders, were constitutionally convened,” Mr Kodwa said.

‘Private militia’

Meanwhile, ANC presidential hopeful Mathews Phosa has given Secretary-General Gwede Mantashe until the end of Thursday to declare the Mpumalanga Provincial General Council (PGC) unlawful.

Mr Phosa argues that provincial chairperson David Mabuza has ‘private militia’ he used to disrupt branch meetings and intimidate members who wanted to vote for either himself or Mr Ramaphosa.

Mr Phosa has threatened to go to court if Mr Mantashe does not reverse the results of the Mpumalanga PGC.

The party in the province has, however, denied the claims saying that they were unfounded and a desperate attempt to rescue Mr Phosa's presidential campaign.

“I don’t want to go to the extreme and say the conference should be stopped, but you should worry about this.”

The ANC’s conference takes place from December 16 to 20 at the Nasrec Expo Centre in Johannesburg.

The party will elect its new leader at the conference who will lead in the 2019 General Election.

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