Ramaphosa’s Newcastle Visit: ANC Takes 3 Actions That Could Spell His Doom


Ramaphosa’s Newcastle Visit: The succession race has continued to make headlines as events keep revolving  around frontrunners vying for the top post.

The knowledge that the winner at the much-anticipated ANC elective conference will definitely fly the ANC flag at the national conference makes the race interesting for outsiders and crucial for party members.

There are strong indications that the perceived frontrunners – Cyril Ramaphosa and Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma will definitely not have a rosy time in the ring. However, both must certainly face huge challenges even before getting into the ring.

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For Dlamini-Zuma, who has had wonderful and lengthy service years both in South Africa and outside the country, her challenges are Zuma-related and believe me, fixing them won’t be a kid glove assignment.

Why most people don’t want her is because of her relationship with her ex-husband, who is currently facing piles of corrupt charges in the country.

If elected, Dlamini-Zuma could protect Zuma from these charges and could nurture more Zumas for leadership positions, many reasoned.

Now to Ramaphosa, the successful businessman has also had a laudable political career despite growing criticism from pro-Zuma cadres.

Since 2012, however, his roles in the Marikana massacre turned out to be a big burden to his career. Although he admitted and apologized for his roles in the killings on Sunday May 7, 2017 [after 5 years], there’s still a belief among some Marikana activists that Ramaphosa should be criminally charged.

Moving down to his party where he enjoys fewer supports, Ramaphosa is not most people’s favourite.

While the ANC Youth League, ANC Women’s League, the military veterans and some reasonable number of loyalists have queued behind Zuma’s wife, Ramaphosa’s main supporters are the Congress of South African Trade Union (Cosatu) and the SA Communist Party (SACP).

We all know that Cosatu is made up by workers who believe President Zuma has lost the eligibility to identify with them. Hence, a major reason why they are not going to vote Dlamini-Zuma.

The ANC succession debate is yet to be opened. For now, most structures have kept their preferred close to chest.

From KwaZulu-Natal province – President Jacob Zuma’s region, most ANC supports flows to Dlamini-Zuma, perhaps, due to Zuma’s position.

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A mild drama is currently going on between the ANC in KZN and Cyril Ramaphosa, bringing so many questions to the mind.

This comes after deputy president Cyril Ramaphosa’s visit to the province some time last month.

The ANC in KZN expressed bitterness with the visit, saying Ramaphosa undermined party traditions by not informing provincial leadership about his visit.

What We Know So Far

  • The major reason why the ANC in KZN felt bad about the meeting was because Ramaphosa didn’t inform them that he would be attending a meeting in Newcastle, which they said is against the party’s tradition. More so, Ramaphosa never mentioned it during a campaign in Nquthu
  • The province felt that there is more to the meeting than meets the eye. The meeting, dubbed ‘cadres forum’ was held on April 28 and organised by the South African National Civics Organisation (Sanco)
  • It also had in attendance former KwaZulu-Natal premier Senzo Mchunu and former MEC Mike Mabuyakhulu. The two former provincial leaders of the party are the key backers of Ramaphosa in KwaZulu-Natal.
  • Reports have it that Sanco in KwaZulu-Natal are planning to support Ramaphosa for the ANC presidency and would be taking its proposal to the organisation’s national executive committee on Friday.

KZN ANC’s Reactions

Following the controversial visit, the ANC in KZN has:

  • Written to the party’s national secretary-general Gwede Mantashe notifying about the visit.
  • The provincial leadership requested him to bring the matter to the attention of the National Executive Committee.
  • They requested Mantashe to ask Ramaphosa to explain why he attended the meeting without informing them.