ANC announces premier candidates for provinces it will govern

SOUTH AFRICA - Report 14 May 2019 by Iraj Abedian

Following its elections win last week, the African National Congress (ANC) party convened a special national executive committee meeting on Monday, May 13, 2019, at which it presented seven of its eight premier candidates for provinces in which it received the majority vote. The premier for one of the provinces, the North West, is yet to be concluded as the province was put under administration last year after it was tainted with allegations of corruption and political infighting.

Despite the ANC’s victory, its total votes at the national level fell to their lowest since 1994, to 57.51%, down from 62.2% scored in the last 2014 general elections. As much as the majority of the nation and some of the ANC members believe that Ramaphosa played a critical role in helping keep the ANC’s support above 50%, some of the ANC leaders seem to disagree. Fikile Mbalula, (a high-ranking member of the party and the current head of elections) commented that the ANC would have lost this year’s elections had President Cyril Ramaphosa not been the party’s leader. This was following Ace Magashule (the ANC Secretary General) mentioning that South Africans voted for the ANC, not an individual, referring to Ramaphosa. Mbalula’s comment did not go well with some of the party members, with Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma (former President Zuma’s ex-wife and Minister in the Presidency for the National Planning Commission for Policy and Evaluation) stating that the comment is divisive. Dlamini-Zuma lost to Ramaphosa at the ANC’s elective conference in 2017. Additionally, Supra Mahumapelo (former North West premier, he stepped down in 2018 after violent protests called for him to do so) sided with both Dlamini-Zuma and Magashule, stating that the ANC works as a collective and that there is no empirical evidence that Mbalula’s comments are true. Noticeably, both Magashule and Mahumapelo have been implicated in strings of corruption scandals and state capture.

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