THE ANC in the Free State has distanced itself from a nomination list for parliamentarians that includes former president Jacob Zuma.
The list, which is circulating on social media, has Zuma as the province’s number one candidate.
ANC branches are set to begin the nomination process for MPs and MPLs to take seats in the National Assembly and provincial legislatures after the 2019 general elections.
According to ANC resolutions and traditions, Cyril Ramaphosa is automatically meant to be number one on the list, as the party’s presidential candidate.
The controversial list is said to be emanating from Mangaung region.
ANC Mangaung spokesperson Ncamile Nxangisa told News24 it had condemned the list.
“The leadership of the ANC in Mangaung region has learned with disappointment and disgust of the list circulating in various social media as a preferred list for [the] Mangaung region,” he said via a statement.
Nxangisa said the region’s branches were yet to meet, so it made no sense that a list had already been completed and circulating on behalf of the region.
The so-called fake list places embattled former mineral resources minister Mosebenzi Zwane at number two.
Mxolisi Dukwana, who has been at odds with provincial leaders, is number five on the list. He led demonstrations against the current provincial executive committee and quit the provincial task team, which was in charge of the party, before its conference in May.
Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, whose bid for ANC presidency was supported by the province, made it to number 11.
Leaders such as Ramaphosa and ANC parliamentary chief whip Jackson Mthembu do not feature.
Free State ANC spokesperson Thabo Meeko defended the party’s regional leadership, saying they were not behind any list seeking to cause divisions.
“It is just a fabrication of individuals who want to make it look as if the province is anti-Ramaphosa, and that is blatantly incorrect. We accept Ramaphosa.”
He insisted that this was the work of “faceless individuals”.
However, former Free State ANC deputy chairperson Thabo Manyoni said he found the existence of a list seeking to place Zuma as the region’s and province’s most popular choice unsurprising.
“One would suspect it’s part of those clandestine things of KwaZulu-Natal. Definitely not surprised to be hearing such in this period of clandestine meetings,” Manyoni told News24.
He was referring to a recent Sunday Times report, which showed a photograph of ANC secretary general Ace Magashule, ANC Women’s League secretary general Meokgo Matuba and ousted ANC North West chairperson Supra Mahumapelo in the lobby of a Durban hotel with Zuma. It’s alleged that they held meeting where a plot to oust Ramphosa was discussed.
Manyoni said he did not believe there was anything to worry about, telling News24 that people were just trying to influence members and branches of the party. He did, however, take exception to the party’s president being excluded from the list.
“But really, you can’t have a sitting president of the party not appearing as number one on the list.
“Where did this list come from? Did it just come on its own? What type of list is that?”
He concluded that the list did not just emerge on its own.
Some party members, who did not want to be named, told News24 that they believed the current leadership was behind the list.
“We know this is their list. We know they [ANC provincial leaders] are the creators of that list and it’s not the only one,” said a party member.
The insider claimed that secret meetings and plans to derail the ANC were happening within the province once headed by the party’s current secretary general.
“They are busy claiming the list is not real, but we know it’s the product of their clandestine processes,” said another member.