south AFRICA

Even be­fore can­di­dates are an­nounced the ANC lead­er­ship race looks di­vi­sive

The Africa Report - - CONTENTS -

The party af­ter Zuma

The year ahead is set to be a de­ci­sive one for South Africa’s rul­ing African Na­tional Congress (ANC). A po­ten­tially bruis­ing and di­vi­sive lead­er­ship race takes place in De­cem­ber; in­ter­nal di­vi­sions threaten to tear the party apart, caus­ing gov­ern­men­tal and eco­nomic paral­y­sis. The party is try­ing des­per­ately to re­cover from last year, when it had a host of prob­lems. The uni­ver­si­ties were set ablaze over tu­ition fee in­creases and Pres­i­dent Ja­cob Zuma faced mount­ing cor­rup­tion charges. And, since the ANC fell 15 seats short of a ma­jor­ity in Johannesburg, the op­po­si­tion Demo­cratic Al­liance is now the coun­try’s lead­ing party in three of the six big­gest metropoli­tan ar­eas. Zuma had a chance to tackle all this at the 105th an­niver­sary cel­e­bra­tion of the ANC, held at the iconic Or­lando Sta­dium in Johannesburg on 8 Jan­uary. In­stead, he used his speech to re­mind the rank and file they must fight against the “evils” un­der­min­ing the party. Th­ese in­clude gate­keep­ing, ill-dis­ci­pline, di­vi­sive fac­tion­al­ism and the ma­nip­u­la­tion of in­ter­nal pro­cesses at all lev­els of the ANC. A fair few in the au­di­ence would sug­gest that Zuma should look in the mir­ror first. He is re­spon­si­ble for some of the evils within the party. He is mov­ing to en­sure his for­mer wife, the depart­ing African Union chair­woman, Nkosazana DlaminiZuma, takes over as pres­i­dent of the party and the coun­try in 2019. Zuma is said to be con­sid­er­ing ap­point­ing her to his cabi­net in an ef­fort to seal the deal. The bat­tle for the fu­ture of the ANC pits Dlamini-zuma against deputy pres­i­dent Cyril Ramaphosa. So far, both can- di­dates have been coy about whether they want the job, as party rules frown upon cam­paign­ing out in the open. But this ar­chaic rule has not stopped their sup­port­ers from openly back­ing both can­di­dates. Pow­er­ful groups have been hard at work lob­by­ing the prov­inces and se­nior party lead­ers. The pow­er­ful Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu) and sev­eral af­fil­i­ates in­clud­ing min­ing, the pub­lic sec­tor and com­mu­ni­ca­tion unions have come out in sup­port of Ramaphosa, who is a for­mer min­ing union­ist. At a se­lect, off-the-record press brief­ing he held in Gaut­eng Ramaphosa in­di­cated he was ready to be the ANC’S pres­i­dent-elect. Mean­while, some of Dlamini-zuma’s sup­port­ers have emerged. Th­ese in­clude the ANC’S Youth and Women’s Leagues. Batha­bile Dlamini, pres­i­dent of the Women’s League, praised Dlamini-zuma as the “em­bod­i­ment of lead­er­ship”. ANC sec­re­tary gen­eral Gwede Man­tashe has called the lobby groups’ ef­forts “ill-timed”, telling Talk Ra­dio 702 that they were “merely an an­gry re­ac­tion to struc­tures out­side the party an­nounc­ing their pre­ferred can­di­dates”. The ANC’S Zizi Kodwa la­beled the move “pre­ma­ture, di­vi­sive and in de­fi­ance of its na­tional ex­ec­u­tive com­mit­tee”. Party favourite Ramaphosa looks to be the ANC’S ob­vi­ous choice, but he does not have the sup­port of the all the prov­inces, cru­cial to suc­cess in the party. ANC in­sid­ers hope to avoid a bruis­ing bat­tle be­tween the two emerg­ing can­di­dates. Some have even at­tempted to bro­ker a set­tle­ment that would see them run on a joint ticket. Man­tashe has in­di­cated that there are an ad­di­tional four lead­ers who could throw their hats in the ring. Th­ese in­clude party trea­surer Zweli Mkhize (see page 16) and par­lia­men­tary speaker Baleka Mbete. Even for­mer in­terim pres­i­dent Kgalema Mot­lanthe’s name has come up. Mean­while, Zuma’s lead­er­ship con­tin­ues to be un­der threat. Some within the ANC have asked him to step down, and he will face an an­gry op­po­si­tion when he de­liv­ers the state of the na­tion ad­dress on 9 Fe­bru­ary in Cape Town. His ad­dress will fo­cus on gov­ern­ment’s plans for rad­i­cal eco­nomic trans­for­ma­tion, in­clud­ing is­sues such as min­ing, land re­form and the cri­sis in higher ed­u­ca­tion that is set to con­tinue when uni­ver­si­ties re-open at the end of Fe­bru­ary. Crys­tal Order­son in Cape Town

Zuma is lob­by­ing for ex-wife Nkosazana Dlamini-zuma

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