Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa and outgoing AU chair, Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma have been urged not to take serious, their nominations as future presidents of the African National Congress and South African president.
The two have been rumoured to be the best to take over from Zuma come 2019, following endorsements by factions of the ruling party.
While the ANC women wing (ANCWL) endorsed Dlamini-Zuma as the party’s future president, Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu) endorsed Ramaphosa.
But, at the party’s 105 anniversary, ANC national spokesperson Zizi Kodwa called on the two candidates to publicly distance themselves from the endorsements.
“It’s divisive and they [Ramaphosa and Dlamini-Zuma] must say ‘not in my name’,” he said,
“As leaders they must say not in my name, even if they accept nomination later when the process is officially open.”
The party leadership criticized both the ANC Women’s League (ANCWL) and its tripartite alliance partner Cosatu for naming candidates prematurely, saying it only served to divide the ANC further.
This call by the ANC leadership follows growing controversy between party members on who leads the party after Zuma is gone.
Though it has no voting powers in the ANC, Cosatu stands as a strong force in the alliance, who usually influences that candidate that would eventually take over the ANC leadership.
Zuma also chastised those tearing the party apart through their fights for the next leadership. Delivering his final January 8 Statement as ANC president on Sunday, Zuma said policy considerations should inform the discussion on leadership.
Kodwa on Monday said those who had endorsed the leaders were ill-disciplined, and he accused them of dividing the ANC.
“These pronouncements are undermining the effort to foster unity,” he said, adding that ANC was discussing a set of principles defining the leader or the leadership that should be elected.
Meanwhile, ANCWL, in its latest statement, stands firm on call for female president saying half of the positions in the party need to be occupied by women.
The party said on Tuesday that the call for the first female president and having 50% representation in ANC top 6 has gained relevance and necessary significance; therefore, pronouncing on the preferred candidates to be lobbied cannot be in any way [sic] interpreted as a form of ill-discipline”.
The league said it would not be dissuaded from calling for the ANC to elect Dlamini-Zuma as its first woman to lead it.
“The success of ANCWL in realising the goal of having the first ANC female president will be a success of women structures across the globe and motivation for them to continue with an agenda of having the world that is not patriarchal.” the league concluded.