Former Nelson Mandela Bay mayor Nceba Faku has withdrawn from the ANC Eastern Cape leadership race and is instead lobbying for former deputy finance minister Mcebisi Jonas for the top provincial post.
If Jonas enters the race, he will be going up against provincial secretary Oscar Mabuyane and premier Phumulo Masualle who is fighting to retain the ANC chairmanship.
Despite the fact that the two slates have been up and running for several months, Jonas’s backers are optimistic that the branches will support him.
Faku forms part of an ANC lobby group, Save the Revolution, which has been taking Jonas’s name to the branches.
Faku said he had decided to back Jonas after assessing the progress of his campaign.
“When you are campaigning, you make assessments. With assessments, you make adjustments,” he said.
“When we started this campaign, Jonas was still the deputy minister of finance and a member of parliament, and that kept him very busy.
“With his resignation, it opened up an opportunity for us because of the character that we know he is.
“We felt that since he is relatively free, we can identify him.
“We are engaging him [Jonas], but we are also checking what the branches are saying.”
The Save the Revolution group aims to dissuade ANC members from following personalities and to rather follow principles.
Group coordinator Petros Vantyu said: “We have proposed Jonas because of his wealth of experience and knowledge in both national and provincial government – and he understands the principle of good governance.”
He said many of the people contesting the provincial leadership had failed to show leadership.
Jonas, meanwhile, said he had not thought about running for the post and would talk with those lobbying for him.
“I can’t say much at the moment because I have not thought about it.” The Save the Revolution group is also proposing former ANC MPL Phila Nkayi for provincial secretary and Nosiphiwo Williams-Segwai for deputy secretary.
Nkayi is the ANC member at the WB Rubusana region and serves on the provincial SACP’s five-member integrity committee.
Williams-Segwai is from the Sarah Baartman region and is sub-region secretary at the Blue Crane Route Municipality.