On Sunday Gauteng education MEC Panyaza Lesufi, who is the ANC’s deputy chairperson in Gauteng, was in Tshwane campaigning for the provincial leadership. The gathering was endorsed by the party’s Tshwane regional chairperson Dr Kgosi Maepa. ANC Gauteng chairperson and Premier David Makhura has publicly indicated that he would not be standing for re-election again at the provincial conference later this year.

Gauteng human settlements, urban planning, co-operative governance and traditional affairs MEC Lebogang Maile is also in the running to replace Makhura at the provincial conference. Maepa said the event was taking place at the request of branches in Tshwane, which he claimed backed Lesufi. Meanwhile Makhura is largely expected to stand for the position of secretary-general at the governing party’s December national conference.

ANC’s Tshwane regional secretary, Bonzo Modise distanced the party from it. “We don’t have such a programme, it’s his personal programme. We don’t have a problem with Panyaza, but we are not involved (in the campaign programme),” he said.

The province, which is the ANC’s smallest in terms of membership but among the party’s most influential, has five regions which will go to their elective conferences ahead of the provincial gathering. Gauteng is largely expected to back President Cyril Ramaphosa for a second term as president of the ANC.

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