Zuma suffers setback - Motlanthe gets big nod
DEPUTY President Kgalema Motlanthe's campaign to become ANC president received a boost when the branches of senior party leaders close to President Jacob Zuma nominated him.
Motlanthe was nominated by Boksburg's branch 42 where ANC secretary-general Gwede Mantashe is a member.
He also got a similar nod from Cape Town's Gaby Shapiro branch, where SACP deputy general secretary Jeremy Cronin allegedly tried to block a discussion on Zuma's controversial R240m Nkandla upgrade last weekend.
In Boksburg, Motlanthe received 90 votes to Zuma's seven.
Mantashe was nominated to retain his current position, with Naledi Pandor as his deputy.
Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma was nominated as deputy president, Mathews Phosa as treasurer-general and Joel Netshitenzhe as national chairman.
Mantashe was not available for comment.
Cronin attended the Rondebosch meeting which nominated Motlanthe, but claimed he had left before the nominations.
But several branch members sympathetic to Motlanthe argued that Cronin's attempt to prevent them from discussing Nkandla was meant to prevent them from criticising the ANC under Zuma.
But Cronin denied this and said his input was merely to put matters in perspective.
He added that he did not take part in the nominations process as he was forced to leave the meeting to attend to other "engagements".
"I was not going to have anything to say in that regard," he said.
Tourism Minister Marthinus van Schalkwyk, who is also a member of the branch, also left shortly before nominations, while veteran ANC MP Ben Turok tendered his apology and left before the meeting started.
The branch nominated ANC national chairman Baleka Mbete as deputy president, National Planning Commission minister Trevor Manuel as treasurer-general and South Africa's ambassador to Italy Thenjiwe Mtintso as deputy secretary-general.
It proposed that Mantashe retain his position as secretary-general.
Another prominent branch to give Motlanthe the green light was the Lilieslief Farm branch in Midrand, where Gauteng ANC secretary David Makhura and Frank Chikane are members.