The build-up to the much-anticipated African National Congress (ANC) elective conference, scheduled to hold this December, caused a serious rumination over the weekend at the ANC 105 Anniversary celebration.
Since the party long admitted that the race towards the election of President Zuma’s successor is consequential and far-reaching, it’s been putting up safer measures that would ensure a successful, harmonious and bloodless handover.
President Zuma could likely be succeeded by his ex-spouse Dlamini-Zuma or his deputy Cyril Ramaphosa – who everyone had tipped the be the best and rightful candidate for the top post.
Though the ANC succession debates are still some time away, President Zuma on Sunday, in a shallow description, painted a picture of the candidate the party should consider fit and ‘perfect’ for the post.
He said the prospective ANC leader must have a proven track record and be able to organize and inspire the masses to be their own liberators.
In addition, Zuma told the party to elect people base on merit and not otherwise.
“Our comrades must learn to elect people based on merit and not because of the amount of money he or she can afford to buy votes. We want you to elect people who have a track record of doing well for the movement and who have the ability to take the movement to greater heights,” he added.
In the same vein, in the speech pre-empting his exit as ANC president in December, Zuma assured the party that he won’t be taking a nap after the completion of his tenure, as he would lead the campaign on political education in all the party branches.
He promised: “When I step down after the elections, I will not rest on my laurels. I am going to go to every branch of the ANC in South Africa to lead the party’s programme on political education.”
Interestingly, he implored ANC members to shine brightly among their equals in order to pull them to the ruling party – which he described as the only political movement saddled with the responsibility of liberating people from the shackles of apartheid.
Zuma said “We, therefore, encourage all members of the ANC to conduct themselves in a manner that will compel members of other political organizations to join the ANC. Your public appearance and your conduct will help bring more members to the ANC.”
He was speaking at Praktiseer, Burgersfort, in Limpopo.
Zuma’s Succession Race – What You Need To Know So Far
The chances of ANC grabbing multiple spots in the last year’s municipal election was chiefly ruined by the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) – the Kingmakers. The EFF crowned the Democratic Alliance (DA) kings in three most desirable metropolitans – which were ANC’s traditional base- since 1994.
The ANC, despite being the biggest spender in the election (spent R1 billion) believes the amount spent in campaigns and election had little or no reaching impacts in the minds of the masses, as it clearly played out at the polls.
Of course, this explains why the party has been fighting to pick up a credible and deserving candidate, who would restore not only the dying values of the revolution but also restore/ regain the confidence the people once had in the party.
Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma and Cyril Ramaphosa appear to be the two main contenders in the race for the top job in the ANC. But Dlamini-Zuma appears to be have gained traction as a candidate for party leader. She has so far, earned a thumbs up from the ANCWL, President Zuma and virtually all supporters in Zuma’s camp.
Ramaphosa, on the other hand, is not having it all rosy, having been recently slammed by President, who took a thinly-veiled swipe at him a few weeks ago. However, he enjoys the support of COSATU, SACP’s young wing (YCL) and a handful of other ANC members, who feels Ramaphosa is the next eligible leader – going by the party’s tradition.
Well, so far, so good. While the ANC succession debate is some time away, many believe the ANC might likely have a difficult pick between the two. I won’t forget to mention that there are other interested candidates include NA speaker Baleka Mbete, Lindiwe Sisulu, Zweli Mkhize, David Mabuza and Kgalema Motlanthe.