(Bloomberg) -- The premier of South Africa’s KwaZulu-Natal province, Sihle Zikalala, resigned after losing a contest last month to lead the governing African National Congress in the region.

Zikakala submitted his resignation on Thursday, the ANC said in statement on Friday. He was ousted as chairman of the party’s provincial structure in July, when members elected Sboniso Duma to the post.

Zikalala is seen as an ally of President Cyril Ramaphosa. It’s unclear whether Duma and his team will back Ramaphosa for a second term as party leader when the ANC elects its top officials at a five-yearly conference in December.

The ANC’s provincial executive committee has recommended that Nomusa Dube-Ncube, Amanda Bani and Mbalenhle Frazer be interviewed for the post of premier on Saturday, according to the statement.

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