The Congress of South African Trade Unions is rallying behind current South African Vice President Cyril Ramaphosa as the African National Congress's next presidential candidate.
“We can't lose this one,” said Bheki Ntshalintshali, COSATU's general secretary,” according to News24, referring to the next ANC internal elections to be held ahead of the general elections in 2019.
Ntshalintshali was speaking on the cusp of COSATU's central executive committee meeting in Johannesburg. The gathering was convened to develop campaign strategies for Ramaphosa.
He's expected to face off against Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, former African Union chairperson. Apart from maintaining a very intense campaign agenda, including attendance at up to four events in three provinces in a single week, Dlamini-Zuma has received support from Winnie Madikizela-Mandela.
After meeting with Madikizela-Mandela in Soweto, Dlamini-Zuma said, “Winnie is our hero. We can't go too far without touching base with her.” She added that the iconic first lady of South Africa after the fall of apartheid said that “it's time we have a woman president.”
While not a front-running candidate, another presidential hopeful vying for the ANC ticket is Zweli Mkhize. Supporters often refer to the ANC treasurer general as being a “third way” presidential candidate.
Other ANC presidential candidates include Lindiwe Sisulu, Jeff Radebe and former Treasurer General Mathews Phosa, according to News24. All are members of the ANC's national executive committee.