ANC President Cyril Ramaphosa seems set to retain his position as party president when the ruling party elects new leadership at its 55th elective conference showdown in December.
On Tuesday, the party released its final list of nominees for the top six positions.
Ramaphosa’s supporters say it is a foregone conclusion that he would retain his position after he was nominated by 2,037 ANC branches.
His challenger, former health minister Zweli Mkhize got the nod from 916 branches.
The two senior ANC leaders will make it to the ballot for the position of ANC president.
By design and based on history, the candidate who assumes the powerful party position is expected to be next in line for the state president position.
Other presidential hopefuls, Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma and Lindiwe Sisulu, failed to reach the threshold to be on the ballot.
However, horse-trading and deals are also expected to be struck behind the scenes ahead of the conference.
Leading the pack, with 1,791 nominations, for the position of deputy president is Paul Mashatile who is the ANC’s current treasurer-general and acting secretary-general.
National Executive Committee (NEC) member and former ANC Youth League leader, Ronald Lamola, received 427 nominations. ANC chairperson in the Eastern Cape and the province’s premier, Oscar Mabuyane, came last with 397 nominations.
Stanley Mathabatha, the chairperson of the ANC and premier of Limpopo, received the highest number of nominations for the position of national chairperson at 1,492 nominations.
He was followed by the incumbent national chairperson, Gwede Mantashe, with 979.
Deputy Minister of Finance of South Africa David Masondo got 507 nominations.
Mathabatha, Mantashe and Masondo will battle it out for the position of national chairperson.
Former ANC secretary in KwaZulu-Natal, Mdumiseni Ntuli, leads the nominations for the full-time position of secretary-general after getting 1,225 nominations.
Phumulo Masualle received 889, and Fikile Mbalula came third with 749 nominations.
The only two women who made the cut in the nominations process for the top six positions — Nomvula Mokonyane and Febe Potgieter — will go head to head for the position of deputy secretary-general.
Mokonyane got 1,779 compared to Potgieter’s 905 nominations.
For the treasurer-general position, Ramaphosa’s political adviser, Bejani Chauke, received 552 nominations.
Pule Mabe, the current ANC spokesperson, came second with 428 nominations, and Mzwandile Masina, the ANC chairperson in Ekurhuleni, got 348 nominations.
The nominations were announced by the chairperson of the party’s Electoral Committee, Kgalema Motlanthe, at ANC headquarters, Luthuli House, on Tuesday.
Former president Jacob Zuma and his ally-turned-foe Deputy President David Mabuza failed to make it to the ballot.
Zuma had raised his hand for the chairperson position, while Mabuza wanted to keep his deputy president position.