This is certainly a sure boost of public acceptance. The deputy president Cyril Ramaphosa must definitely be impressed with the latest public acceptance of his protege ahead of pro-Zuma backer. The charismatic new leader Zamani Saul  was elected unopposed because his rival‚ Northern Cape Premier Sylvia Lucas‚ declined nomination at the provincial conference in Colesburg on Friday afternoon.

In a shock move‚ the rest of her slate‚ who were in the running for the other four top positions‚ also declined nomination.

Lucas thanked her supporters for “the privilege and honour to be nominated for provincial chair. Unfortunately I would not accept‚” she told the gathering.

Saul is known to back Ramaphosa‚ while Lucas is regarded as being pro-Zuma.

Saul was previously ANC provincial secretary.

Tensions between Saul and Lucas escalated when‚ a day before the Colesburg conference began‚ Lucas reshuffled her executive without consulting the ANC.

It is still early to guess whether the province’s new leaders will purge Lucas and her supporters in government.

Daluxolo Deshi Ngxanga was elected provincial secretary unopposed because Alvin Botes declined nomination for the position.

The new deputy chairperson is Bentley Vaas after acting chairperson Kenny Moimang declined nomination.