In what has become a crowded field for the African National Congress leadership, a Limpopo party branch has nominated billionaire businessman Patrice Motsepe to challenge President Cyril Ramaphosa and former health minister Zweli Mkhize at the forthcoming elective conference in December, APA learnt on Thursday.
Also in the ANC presidential race are Tourism Minister Lindiwe Sisulu and Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs Minister Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma, a former African Union Commission chair, who aim to unseat Ramaphosa.
Motsepe, a mining tycoon, is the current president of the Confederation of African Football and the brother-in-law of Ramaphosa, the current ANC leader.
The branch, that calls its campaign Unity 2022, said Motsepe was the only person “not seen to be corrupt” and was capable of leading the country.
The branch, defying the Limpopo ANC provincial executive committee (PEC) which has endorsed Ramaphosa for the top job, is known as Malekeng Magane party branch in Ward 12 Fetakgomo-Tubatse in Sekhukhune.
The ANC in Limpopo has teamed up with KwaZulu-Natal (KZN) to fight the step-aside resolution at the December conference.
KZN is backing Mkhize to be party leader.
“We have comrades in all the provinces lobbying other branches to support Motsepe and we have spoken to him and have written to him. He has not agreed that he would stand -- nor has he disagreed,” the Limpopo branch deputy chairperson Emmanuel Makgoga said.
“We don't expect him to say yes now. Even the current president (Ramaphosa) has not raised his hand to say he is standing,” Makgoga said.
He said he did not believe that Limpopo Province would go with Ramaphosa since the province had sided with KZN on all other issues.
“They (Limpopo province ) will never vote for Ramaphosa,” he said.
APA was unable to reach Motsepe for any comment.
The billionaire, who is said to partly fund the ANC, would not accept the ANC presidential nomination, observers said.