Women's League divided over Ramaphosa and Dlamini-Zuma

Johannesburg - Divisions in the ANC Women's League have come to the fore, with the Northern Cape nominating Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa to take over the party reigns at the December elective conference. 

This is in defiance of the national and provincial leadership’s position to endorse presidential hopeful Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma. 

The provincial leagues in Mpumalanga and Limpopo have differed with Northern Cape, endorsing Dlamini-Zuma. Both have described the nomination as unanimous. 

The ANC Women’s League is campaigning for Dlamini-Zuma to be the party's first female president, replacing  President Jacob Zuma. At the time the league’s National Executive Committee announced it will back her, some league members said the position was not canvassed within the lower structures. 

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In the Northern Cape, the secret ballot had to be used after both Dlamini-Zuma and Ramaphosa were nominated. 

League provincial secretary Topys Vilaka, who is also on the National Executive Committee, chuckled about how she now has to promote Ramaphosa despite earlier endorsing Dlamini-Zuma. 

“Whether I like it or not, I have to go out and say this is the position of the Northern Cape... I think  I am okay because it was a democratic process,” Vilaka told News24. 

“There was nothing we could do, as a PEC (Provincial Executive Council) it would have been unconstitutional to go into that meeting and say this is the position. You must all obey and follow this,” she said.

Both Mpumalanga and Limpopo followed the league’s top six slate that also include David Mabuza as deputy president, Nathi Mthethwa as national Chair, Ace Magashule as secretary-general, Jessie Duarte as deputy Secretary-General and Maine Nkoana-Mashabane as treasurer general. 

Mpumalanga provincial secretary Lydia Moroane said in a statement that the nominated leaders represented the "best cadres to lead radical economic transformation”.

Mpumalanga's position is seen as an indication that Mabuza, who has been coy about who he will back between the two front runners, is likely to throw his weight behind Dlamini-Zuma. 

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Ironically the league in Limpopo has nominated former president Angie Motshekga who is linked to the Ramaphosa campaign for the National Executive Committee. Motshekga lost to current ANCWL president Bathabile Dlamini and the two have been at odds in recent times.   

Presidential hopeful Baleka Mbete is also on the list of the women recommended for the NEC.