Walk out: Motlanthe supporters outside the ANC conference registration venue. Picture :MONTSHO MATLALA
President Jacob Zuma, was beaten by his deputy Kgalema Motlanthe to take the top spot of ANC president nominee in the controversial ANC provincial conference in Polokwane, Limpopo yesterday.
Motlanthe got 268 votes against Zuma’s seven after voting went ahead despite the pro-Zuma members walking out complaining of bogus branches and unknown members.
The nominations saw current ANC Treasurer Mathews Phosa nominated for the deputy presidency and Sports Minister Fikile Mbalula to take over from Gwede Mantashe as secretary general.
Human Settlements Minister Tokyo Sexwale was nominated for treasurer, North West premier Thandi Modise for national chairperson and Thenjiwe Mtintso – a former deputy secretary for the ANC – was again nominated for that position.
A small group of delegates chanted in celebration: “We don’t like Zuma, he fired ANCYL president Julius Malema”. ANC provincial secretary Soviet Lekganyane said it was unfortunate that about 162 Zuma supporters walked out of the conference.
Lekganyane said he hoped that those who walked out would accept the outcome.
Zuma is said to be enjoying support in Sekhukhune, Mopani and some branches in Vhembe as well as Waterberg regions.
However, Capricorn, which is the home of fired ANCYL president Julius Malema, is said to be the stronghold of Motlanthe.
The conference was scheduled to be held on Wednesday but was stalled by clashes between the supporters of Motlanthe and Zuma.
On Tuesday night police used water cannons and arrested two people as a mob believed to be Zuma supporters tried to storm into the conference hall.
Most of the protesters were wearing T-shirts bearing the face of President Zuma.
Police spokesperson Brig Hangwani Mulaudzi confirmed that two suspects were charged with public violence. “As investigations are continuing the duo may face other additional charges. The two will appear today (Friday) in the Polikwane Regional Court,” Mulaudzi said. –Additional reporting by Sapa