ANC Youth League (ANCYL) national spokesperson, Mlondi Mkhize, has cast aspersions on former finance minister Pravin Gordhan for his recent comments on the party’s upcoming national elective conference, scheduled to hold from December 16 to 20.
Mkhize raised alarm over Gordhan’s overwhelming campaign and support for deputy president Cyril Ramaphosa to succeed President Jacob Zuma next month, saying the former minister’s comments might end up influencing the outcome of the conference.
The league said while it respects Pravin’s rights to freedom of expression which includes freedom to impart ideas, it is not comfortable that Gordhan is so confident that there will be no downgrades if Ramaphosa wins the presidential race.
The league’s national spokesperson asserted that the former minister’s confidence in making these comments could only mean that “he is well briefed on the rating agencies decisions after the 54th ANC National conference or he is lobbying the rating agencies to take a particular position if Cde Ramaphosa is not elected.”
Mkhize, therefore, urged the rating agencies to distance themselves from the utterances of Pravin Gordhan or else that will be a confirmation that his utterances represent their decision.
ANCYL’s statement was issued a day after Gordhan while delivering his speech at Daily Maverick’s The Gathering in Sandton, allegedly said that if Cyril Ramaphosa is supported, there will be no downgrades.
On Friday, Global ratings agency S&P Global Ratings, downgraded South Africa’s long-term local currency rating to ‘BB+’, or junk, from ‘BBB-‘ with a stable outlook, while Moody’s placed the country on review to be downgraded.
ANC national executive committee (NEC) member Pravin Gordhan has since endorsed Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa’s choice of running mates for the ANC’s top six positions.
In his presidential ticket released earlier this month in Ga-Sekhukhune, Limpopo, the deputy picked NEC member Naledi Pandor as his preferred candidate for deputy president.
Ramaphosa’s choice was warmly welcomed and accepted by Gordhan, who said he believes the ANC presidential aspirant had thought carefully about his “winning” team.
“What I think is key at the moment is a very different kind of leadership from what we have today, both within the ANC and within the government. Ramaphosa has certainly put his foot forward in that particular regard,” the former minister said at the time.
Six candidates are expected to wrestle for the seat of the ruling party’s president. Whoever wins will, of course, fly the party’s flag at the 2019 general election.