Johannesburg – The battle lines have been drawn as presidential hopefuls Cyril Ramaphosa and Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma each accepted their nomination for the top job at the ANC's national conference.
The two candidates and their running mates now await voting by branch delegates on Sunday evening.
Nominations kicked off with a bumpy start when delegates objected to voting with their ID’s. Chaos erupted as several delegates took the floor suggesting that their accreditation tags were sufficient for voting.
'Come closer Nkosazana'
Delegates led by the ANC Women's League (ANCWL) then started singing songs in favour of Dlamini-Zuma, who was seated at the podium. Delegates sang "Phakama Nkosazana Ixesha lisondele" (Come closer Nkosazana, your time has come).
Ramaphosa is leading the race with 1469 branch nominations across six provinces, with Dlamini-Zuma trailing behind with 1094 branch nominations across the same amount of provinces.
Nine provinces including the leagues constitute the ANC delegation. Counting the ANC Women's League, Veterans League, Youth League, the ANC has 12 provinces as voting delegates.
Mpumalanga chairperson David Mabuza got 1128 nominations for the position of deputy president with Lindiwe Sisulu receiving 619 branch nominations.
Mabuza is Dlamini-Zuma’s running mate, and Sisulu who had first campaigned for the position of ANC president, has now taken her position as Ramaphosa’s running mate.
Zweli Mkhize bows of of the race
Outgoing treasurer general Zweli Mkhize declined nomination for the deputy president position.
Former KwaZulu-Natal chairperson Senzo Mchunu who has been said to be leading campaigns for Ramaphosa in his home province was nominated for the position of secretary general with 1479 branch nominations. He will be contending the position against Free State premier Ace Magashule who received 930 branch nominations.
Outgoing secretary general Gwede Mantashe had 1499 branch nominations for the position of national chairperson, and will be going head to head with national executive committee member Nathi Mthethwa.
Cosatu second deputy president Zingiswa Losi, who has publicly denounced outgoing ANC president Jacob Zuma, is vying for the deputy secretary general (DSG) position with 361 branch nominations.
However, her ambitions may be squashed by the current DSG Jessie Duarte, who is leading the race with 845 branch nominations.
Gauteng chair Paul Mashatile, with 1581 branch nominations, will go against Maite Nkoana-Mashabane for the treasurer general position.
NEC member Nomvula Mokonyane declined the nomination for that position.