Mathews Phosa Talks Leadership: Without mincing words, it is becoming clearer every day that the temperature within the ANC is rising and the pressure cooker within the ruling party is now at a dangerous point.
The race to the headship of the ANC has apparently taken a swifter turn, with many candidates indicating interest in it.
For now, Zuma’s ex-wife Dr. Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma and his deputy Cyril Ramaphosa are widely perceived as frontrunners to succeed the president as ANC president in December.
All we know so far is that the Dlamini-Zuma enjoys the support of the ‘Premier League’ – a group formed by premiers of North West, Free State, and Mpumalanga – as well as the majority of the ANC members in KwaZulu-Natal.
Last week, President Jacob Zuma reportedly expressed worry that so many people are competing for his job as ANC leader.
“Where have you ever seen a situation where all of us want to become the president?”, he asked at an ANC event at Empangeni, KwaZulu-Natal.
With eight months to go to the national conference, a good number of senior ANC leaders have continued to either raise their hands or respond to approaches from party structures, egging them on for the top post.
So far, the proliferation of factions within many ANC structures has given birth to many candidates, namely; Dlamini-Zuma, Ramaphosa, Baleka Mbete, Zweli Mhkize, Lindiwe Sisulu, Jeff Radebe, David Mabuza, Tito Mboweni, Senzo Mchunu Nathi Mthethwa, Mathews Phosa and Gwede Mantashe.
While nothing much have been said by most candidates mentioned above, in a recent interview, Matthews Phosa listed out reasons while he would make a good president if given the opportunity.
Reacting to questions from eNCA’s Cathy Mohlahlana on Tuesday, Phosa, whose name was put forward at the weekend by ANC members in Cape Town said he does not have an emotional attachment to his potential nomination.
Although he admitted it is still early to delve into sensitive matters on the race, he enumerated these points as his strength. Phosa said:
- His strong belief in the constitution of the country is his key factor
- He believes that he can save the dying ANC by eradicating greedy people who want to pull the reputation of the party through the mire.
- He believes he stands a chance because he’s an old member of ANC.
- His experience as a politician and campaigner will assist in his campaign.
- He also hopes to change the focus of some members in a bid to restore the party’s glorious day.
Since 1997, Mathews Phosa has been competing for a senior leadership position. In 2007, he slimly made it to the top six by joining the Zuma slate as treasurer general but was thrown off the board not long after.
In 2012, he lost the post of the deputy president to Cyril Ramaphosa. He received 470 votes while Ramaphosa smiled home with 3018 votes.
Currently, he is in a court battle with Mpumalanga Premier David Mabuza. The two are currently dealing with a defamation case brought by Mabuza‚ who is accusing Phosa of trying to discredit him in the Mpumalanga province in order to gain political influence.
Earlier this year, he also fought word war with president Jacob Zuma’s eldest son, Edward Zuma, who attacked him for speaking against his father and the entire ANC leadership.
Mathews Phosa does not appear to have any significant support in the party – for now. However, his chief campaigner is the leader of the Ses’khona People’s Movement, Andile Lili.