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The ANC in Gauteng looks set to officially nominate Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa when the province holds its provincial general council next weekend.
Ramaphosa’s rival, Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, has performed poorly in the province, getting less than 60 branch nominations, with the process near completion.
Despite hard campaigning, the other presidential hopefuls have failed to perform, with only two branches not nominating the two front runners.
An official tally of the nomination process, seen by News24, shows that Dlamini-Zuma has only managed 55 branch nominations while Ramaphosa received a whopping 383.
Ninety-three percent of the branches have completed their branch general meetings to choose presidential candidates to replace President Jacob Zuma at the December elective conference.
Gauteng was expected to nominate Ramaphosa after the provincial executive committee sent a letter to regions in October, backing him as its only candidate for party president.
Insiders in the Dlamini-Zuma campaign were banking on getting at least a 100 branch nominations from the province, ahead of the fiercely-contested presidential race.
They expected to dominate the Ekurhuleni region, where Mzwandile Masina has vowed to resign as mayor and chair of the region if Ramaphosa wins the presidency and if the majority of the branches in his region failed to nominate Dlamini-Zuma – his preferred candidate.
“It means I am not a leader. I can’t lead people who don’t listen to me…’This is not just a presidential race, it’s politics,” Masina told News24 in October.
There are only nine branches which are yet to hold their meetings in the region. Dlamini-Zuma has snapped up 27 branches and Ramaphosa got the nod from 70.
The 27 was the highest number of branches in a Gauteng region that backed Dlamini-Zuma.
The NDZ17 campaign was also hoping to make inroads in the Sedibeng region, that includes the Vaal. However, she only managed six nominations while Ramaphosa got 76.
The province is hoping that its preferred candidate will win this time around after backing Kgalema Motlanthe in 2012 and Thabo Mbeki in 2007.
They both lost to Zuma – earning the province the title of “never backing a winner”.
Gauteng is expected to bring 508 delegates to the elective conference that gets underway from December 16 to 20 at the Nasrec expo centre, south of Johannesburg.