ANC Succession Race: Without mincing words, the battle for the control of the ANC will definitely not go down to the wire with a handful of people tipped for the position without ‘bruises’.
By now, we are well aware that some ANC insiders announced deputy president Cyril Ramaphosa, former African Union chairperson Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, Mabuza, Ace Magashule, Lindiwe Sisulu, Zweli Mkhize, Matthews Phosa and Jeff Radebe as prospective contenders.
However, Zuma’s ex-wife and his deputy appear to have dominated the race – stirring up divisions and rancor as well among party structures and members too.
Truth be told, Dlamini would easily sweep Ramaphosa away at the polls if all powers lie in Zuma’s hands. She has widely garnered laudable supports from her husband and his loyalists, including the ANCWL, ANCYL and some organizations.
In January, the candidacy of 67-year-old Dlamini-Zuma was last week, buttoned up by President Zuma, who maintained that the ANC and South Africa is ‘ready’ for a female president. In fact, Zuma clogged up questions on his next successor by expressly announcing Nkosazana as the quintessential candidate.
Moreso, a group of top government officials at the time confirmed that President Jacob Zuma has put everything in place for the appointment of his ex-wife Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma to his cabinet.
The officials begged anonymity but affirmed that the move will be a way of shoring up her path to succeeding him as ANC’s next leader and possibly, the next ANC flag bearer at the national elections.
She also enjoys support among ANC members in Mpumalanga, the Free State, and North West.
That notwithstanding, crossing over and grabbing the top post would definitely not be so rosy, as some structures and ANC’s allainces have spoken out against her presidential aspiration.
A crop of her critics, led by SA’s biggest trade federation Cosatu had backed Ramaphosa, insisting that ANC’s tradition must be respected. Tradition demands that Ramaphosa must succeed Zuma. Other groups that support the deputy president are SACP, YCL, and Cosatu in Limpopo and the free state.
Just like Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan, Ramaphosa has never been ANCYL’s favourite. He has often been described as an “enemy of the working class”.
The League, in recent times, has slated him and accused him of promoting white monopoly and also having interest in state-owned enterprises.
The league showed its disapproval for the deputy president on Wednesday at OR Tambo International Airport where it welcomed the league’s preferred candidate Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma.
The league slammed Ramaphosa for campaigning for the ANC top job through media platforms, urging him to honourably withdraw from the race until he’s formally nominated.
“Nobody has nominated Ramaphosa, so he should await his nomination. The process of the ANC is that a branch must nominate you, and then you must accept nomination.
If you go to media platforms and say you’re available, you are actually contravening rules and regulations as well as organisational culture,” ANCYL secretary-general, Njabulo Nzuza said.
On Tuesday, Dlamini-Zuma officially handed over the reins to new chairperson of AU Commission Moussa Faki Mahamat, who is from Chad.
Trained as a doctor, Nkozana isn’t green-horned in the political sphere. She was once South Africa’s health minister during the Mandela-led regime that rolled out in 1994.
After taking office in 1999, former President Thabo Mbeki crowned her South Africa’s foreign minister and she manned the post for a decade.
Then in 1999, she was reassigned to the home affairs. Her marriage to President Jacob Zuma crashed in 1998. The pair produced four children.