Behind-the-scenes lobbying for the ANC chairmanship in the Eastern Cape is in full swing as leading lobbyists for incumbent Phumulo Masualle and Oscar Mabuyane move into top gear.
Campaigners of both factions met at different venues, as the date for what is shaping up to be the most hotly contested provincial elective conference draws closer by the day.
While provincial secretary Mabuyane’s supporters met in Beacon Bay on Thursday, Masualle’s gathered in Southernwood, East London on Sunday to discuss their respective lineups.
The ANC in the province will elect new leaders in East London in July.
The stakes are high, as whoever is elected chairman will most likely be the Eastern Cape premier in 2019 – if the ANC retains control.
Five regional leaders – Amathole regional chairman KC Maneli, Nelson Mandela Bay secretary Themba Xathula, Joe Gqabi chairman Shoes Dumzela, Chris Hani chairwoman Kholiswa Vimbayo and Dr WB Rubusana chair Xola Pakati – who support Masualle for a third term as party boss, were part of the Southernwood meeting.
The Masualle lobbyists, who include Amathole regional secretary Teris Ntuthu and his Joe Gqabi counterpart Mfundo Bongela, also want provincial treasurer Thandiswa Marawu to be re-elected.
Although the Masualle faction reached a deadlock on who should serve with him as secretary, the names of former ANCYL national deputy president Andile Lungisa and former provincial young lions leader Mziwonke Ndabeni were contenders.
In Beacon Bay, team Mabuyane, leaders from OR Tambo, Alfred Nzo and Sarah Baartman gathered to discuss who they will be fielding against the opposing camp.
If the Mabuyane group has things its way in July, OR Tambo regional secretary Lulama Ngcukaitobi will take over from Mabuyane as the provincial secretary, while Babalo Madikizela, the Alfred Nzo regional treasurer, will be trusted with the party’s provincial purse.