The political future of the ruling ANC seems to be on the balance, thus forcing different regions to embark different strategies. Maneli‚ addressing branch delegates on Saturday to the regional general council in Mogale City‚ said the region had no problem with Ramaphosa automatically succeeding Jacob Zuma as party leader in December.

Maneli also expressed support for more women in the ANC top six leadership structure but insisted that Ramaphosa be the president.

Maneli mentioned Human Settlements Minister Lindiwe Sisulu as one of the high-profile woman leaders who could make it onto the leadership structure.

He said: “On the issue of the deputy president automatically ascending to the top‚ we have no problem with that. The comrade is a good leader. We have subjected him to the Eye of the Needle.”

On electing a woman leader‚ Maneli said: “They should be in the national office bearers (top six) but we believe that Cyril can lead them.”

Maneli also hinted at a push to have current Gauteng ANC Chairman Paul Mashatile elected onto the top six.

He said Mashatile had age on his side and has served on the national executive committee (NEC) for a number of years.

The West Rand ANC has become the first region to endorse Ramaphosa after the Northern Cape put its weight behind the businessman-turned-politician.

While Maneli said branches would discuss the names of other leaders during the regional council‚ it was apparent that he was the favoured candidate to succeed Zuma when the ANC elects new leaders in December.

Even Mashatile‚ at the beginning of his address‚ remarked: “I see that this is Ramaphosa’s house. I will tell him when I see him.”