ANC secretary-general, Gwede Mantashe has joined the party president, Jacob Zuma to kick against the endorsement of deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa as the party’s next president but also noted that the party is not in support of a woman leader.
Speaking at the ANC birthday rally in George on Sunday, Mantashe said being deputy president of the ANC does not grantee any one the presidential seat.
The leader further noted that there was also no need to refer to the possibility of a woman leading the 105-year-old liberation movement as “the first woman president of the ANC”.
“We don’t want a woman president, we want a president of the ANC,” said Mantashe, according to the party’s Twitter feed from the event.
Mantashe’s comment follows the political spat regarding who takes over from President Jacob Zuma whose tenure as the ANC President ends in few months.
His comment about the possibility of Ramaphosa becoming president also put to mind, Zuma’s comment during an interview with three radio stations, that there was no tradition in the ANC that the deputy president automatically moved up to the number one spot.
Zuma, however, noted that the country was ready for a woman president, a shift from previous decades when this seemed unthinkable.
Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa was expected to win the presidential race but political chatter is placing party stalwart Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma in the hustings since her resignation as chairperson of the African Union Commission.
The deputy president has however warned party members and supporters to make sure they make a choice of leaders who will not steal from them.
Ramaphosa used Oliver Tambo’s legacy as a lesson in party unity saying Tambo was not a factionalist and was not driven by business interests.
He warned that factions weaken the ANC, that it’s only strong when it’s united.
“You mustn’t agree when people come to bribe you with money, showing you lists or slates with those you must vote for. The leaders must be elected by you at the branches.
“Elect the leaders you trust, you love and you know won’t steal money and won’t lie and you know will work for the people. Leaders must not be elected in the boardroom,” he said while urging members to resist corruption and safeguard public resources.