African National Congress (ANC) presidential aspirant, Baleka Mbete, has assured the country that she still has her eyes on the party’s presidency and has not abandoned her ambition to replace President Jacob Zuma next month.
The National Assembly speaker admitted that her work has kept her away from doing more of the groundwork but that she’s confident she will emerge victoriously.
She also promised to visit more districts and regions in the country to drum up more support needed to confront and out-smart her opponents at the much-anticipated elective conference.
Mbete, who doubles as ANC national chairperson, also shared her view on what is expected from people who would end up losing at the conference. She asserted that people who fail to get elected to the top position must accept defeat and continue to serve the party.
“…Our decisions and preferences might not be the final word and we must respect that and keep working for the ANC in spite of being supported or not…”
Furthermore, she indicated her willingness to work with other presidential hopefuls, adding that a united leadership will go a long way in helping the ruling party at the conference.
Baleka Mbete made these comments while addressing the Faraday Taxi Association at a prayer service on Friday afternoon.
Her appearance at the praying session on Friday was seen as an attempt to revive her campaign, which has been fairly quiet in recent times.
The ANC elective conference will take place in December in Johannesburg. It is the first time in the history of ANC to have seven candidates aspiring to be president of ANC.
The candidates contesting for the election include Dr. Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma, Cyril Ramaphosa (Dlamini-Zuma’s principal opponent and the current deputy president).
Also contesting the presidency is Baleka Mbete, the Speaker of the National Assembly, Lindiwe Sisulu, the daughter of struggle stalwarts Walter and Albertina Sisulu, and the sister of Max Sisulu, the former national speaker of Parliament.
There are Dr. Zweli Mkhize, the current treasurer general, as well as Mathews Phosa, the former premier of Mpumalanga and former treasurer general, and lastly Jeff Radebe, the Minister in the Presidency, as well as South Africa’s longest continuously serving Cabinet member.
There are fears that if Dlamini-Zuma wins the ANC presidency, she might keep the Guptas’ affiliated slate on board. On the hand, many are worried that Ramaphosa – who has the albatross of Marikana massacre hanging on his neck – might not be able to restore the integrity of ANC which has been severely bruised by piles of scandals.