South African Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa has received the most nominations for leader of the ruling African National Congress (ANC) ahead of a party vote this month, voting data from the country's nine provinces show.
This elicited confusion as to who the province preferred as President Jacob Zuma's successor when the party convenes its national elective conference in Nasrec, Joburg, next week.
However, Dlamini-Zuma also has the support of the ANC women's and youth leagues, while the veteran's league supports Ramaphosa.
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His main rival, Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, Zuma's ex-wife and favored candidate, was supported by 64 branches on the province, which include the nation's commercial center, Johannesburg, and Pretoria.
"As provinces submit their nominations for the ANC leadership conference, expect political noise to persist", lender Nedbank said in a note. "Now, we don't know how long this chap called "Unity" has been a member of the ANC".
"The work there is to try and covert unity to names of human beings".
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"So he (Unity) may be disqualified on the basis of short-term membership - he doesn't have the 10 years required".
Former ANC National Executive Committee member Mathews Phosa chats to Journalist Melanie Verwoerd during a sit-down interview.
Mantashe says delegates will only have a choice between officially nominated candidates.
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Most investors favor Ramaphosa, 65, a lawyer, former labor-union leader and one of the wealthiest black South Africans, who has pledged to revive the ailing economy, reduce a 28 percent unemployment rate and combat corruption if elected.