ANC national executive committee (NEC) member Pravin Gordhan has seemingly endorsed Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa's choice of running mates for the ANC's top six positions.
Earlier this month, Ramaphosa announced the names of his running mates in Ga-Sekhukhune, Limpopo, including a shock announcement that NEC member Naledi Pandor was his preferred candidate for deputy president. Gordhan, who is known to support Ramaphosa, said he believed that the deputy president had thought carefully about his "winning" team.
"What I think is key at the moment is a very different kind of leadership from what we have today, both within the ANC and within the government. Ramaphosa has certainly put his foot forward in that particular regard."
During the same rally in Limpopo on November 5, Ramaphosa named former KwaZulu-Natal chairperson Senzo Mchunu as his secretary general, and current secretary general Gwede Mantashe his preferred next ANC chairperson.
He also named Gauteng chairperson Paul Mashatile as his preference for the post of treasurer general.
The ANC, however, did not react positively to Ramaphosa's announcement. The party slammed the presidential hopeful, saying it noted with concern reports of statements made by leaders pronouncing on comrades to be elected as officials.Ramaphosa has since released a statement in which he said he noted the criticism of his announcement.
He, however, has defended his actions, saying his decision was based on interactions with, and nominations from, ANC structures and should be understood in that context.
The deadline for ANC branches to hold general meetings to nominate candidates was November 15. However, two of the three biggest provinces - the Eastern Cape and KwaZulu-Natal - were in talks with NEC delegates as the party tries to intervene in branch disputes holding up the nomination process.