The mixed slate or "unity" approach to the ANC leadership race appears to be officially off the table. Mpumalanga premier David Mabuza, at a strategic co-ordinating meeting of regional leaders at the Ehlanzeni district municipality this week, admitted that his push to eliminate slates in the current leadership race had failed and that he was throwing his weight behind Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma. Mabuza had been championing a "unity" ticket to avoid a divisive leadership race that could lead to yet another split in the ANC. However, a so-called unity approach was also rejected by the ANC’s national executive committee (NEC) on Thursday, which opted not to separate the election of the top leadership. However, there were, at the time, questions over whether this instruction came from Mabuza himself or from leaders in the province, who are known Dlamini-Zuma backers.

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