ANC Presidential Race: Gwede Mantashe Wants A Female Deputy President


ANC Presidential Race – As the battle for President Jacob Zuma’s successor intensifies, ANC secretary-general Gwede Mantashe has repeated his calls for a male president and a female deputy president.

Mantashe took to social media platform, Twitter, on Tuesday night, where he asserted that the only way the African National Congress (ANC) can retain its peace and unity is for Zuma to hand over to his deputy.

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The SG affirmed that the ruling party will “fall into crisis” if the post of ANC president is not handed down to Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa in the upcoming national elective conference in December.

He tweeted: “If Pres Zuma, with experience, refuses to hand over to DP, we will be in a crisis. Let us find a woman to be DP, for succession to be managed.”

Apparently, Mantashe’s assertions are seen as his endorsement of President Zuma’s deputy to take over the reins of ANC leadership.

In his subsequent tweets, Mantashe, who was earlier rumoured to be a contender for the top post,  said if ANC deputy president fails to take over from the current leader, in accordance with the tradition, then the party is owed an explanation.

He alluded to the fact that Zuma should help support the election of Ramaphosa to replace him instead of his current support for former African Union Chairperson Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma.

On the growing debate about a women president, he said he found the debate strange and uncalled for, stressing that leadership race debate shouldn’t be gendered.

Apart from frontrunners Cyril Ramaphosa and Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, other ANC members who queued up for ANC presidential contest include Lindiwe Sisulu, Zweli Mkhize (who is seen by some as a possible option for a unity ticket), Mathews Phosa, Jeff Radebe and National Assembly speaker Baleka Mbete.

Mkhize is reportedly being lined up to replace former AU chairperson Dlamini-Zuma and to become Zuma’s successor amid growing concerns at the country’s future should Dlamini-Zuma wins the top post.

Many organizations, including SACP, COSATU, NUM and some ANC top officials have said they would back Ramaphosa, who is campaigning on the promise to wipe out corruption in the ruling party and also restore the party’s glory.

On Tuesday, the former Parliamentary leader of the Democratic Alliance (DA) told a panel discussing the role of business in current South Africa that she confidently believes that Ramaphosa is the only candidate who can unify and bring the much-needed change in the ANC and the country.

A few months ago, Cosatu general secretary Bheki Ntshalintshali said electing Ramaphosa as the next president will save the party in future.

“If you elect a deputy president, you should be knowing that this is your future president, going forward. So, you have to choose from the time you choose the DP, and be able to give him all time… ten years deputising, to learn and one day become president,” Ntshalintshali said.

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The much-anticipated ANC elective conference, which is a precursor to the South African general election, 2019, will be held from the 16th to the 20th December 2017 in Gauteng. Delegates are also expected to elect members of the National Executive Committee (NEC) as well as other major party officials.