DD Mabuza: Don’t sup­port fac­tions

CityPress - - News - SIZWE SAMA YENDE sizwe.yende@city­press.co.za

The ANC in Mpumalanga claims to have no plans to rally behind ei­ther of the two fron­trun­ners put for­ward to suc­ceed Pres­i­dent Ja­cob Zuma in the party’s De­cem­ber elec­tive con­fer­ence, say­ing fac­tions are split­ting the party.

Em­pha­sis­ing unity and re­newal in a gov­ern­ing party that has be­come be­dev­illed by grow­ing dis­putes over whether Zuma should step down, Premier David Mabuza called on his prov­ince not to sup­port the fac­tional groups sup­port­ing ei­ther former African Union Com­mis­sion chair­per­son Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma or Deputy Pres­i­dent Cyril Ramaphosa.

Mpumalanga ANC sec­re­tary Mandla Ndlovu said the prov­ince hoped for an elec­tive con­fer­ence in De­cem­ber that would not be con­tested, but had reached con­sen­sus over its pre­ferred can­di­dates for the top lead­er­ship.

“We will be happy if all the slates can be con­sol­i­dated and we have one slate, sup­ported by all the provinces, leagues and al­liance part­ners,” said Ndlovu.

“We are not go­ing a third route, but want to be in­clu­sive and ac­com­mo­dat­ing,” he added, in ref­er­ence to calls for a third, neu­tral can­di­date to avoid a re­peat of the bruis­ing bat­tle be­tween Zuma and then pres­i­dent Thabo Mbeki in the af­ter­math of the ANC’s Polok­wane con­fer­ence in 2007.

Speak­ing on con­di­tion of anonymity, a cam­paigner for Mabuza said sup­port­ing ei­ther fron­trun­ner would ap­pear fac­tional and de­feat all pur­poses of Mabuza’s ef­forts to unite the or­gan­i­sa­tion. “We do not want to sup­port a fac­tion and ap­pear fac­tional, so we are go­ing for a neu­tral can­di­date.”

Mabuza has pub­licly ruled him­self out of the race for any of the top six po­si­tions if it means he has to com­pete against an­other com­rade. He also dis­tanced him­self from the race last week­end when he wel­comed Cleopas Maunye, the former Bush­buck­ridge Res­i­dents’ As­so­ci­a­tion sec­re­tary and pro­vin­cial leg­is­la­ture mem­ber, back into the ANC, along with 1 500 as­so­ci­a­tion mem­bers.

“I am not will­ing to stand. Group­ings are re­sult­ing in the demise of the ANC. Our con­tri­bu­tion as Mpumalanga is about unit­ing the or­gan­i­sa­tion,” he said.

How­ever, bring­ing back side­lined com­rades and unit­ing the party seems to be Mabuza’s way of se­cur­ing ANC branches’ sup­port when he runs for the po­si­tion of deputy pres­i­dent in De­cem­ber.

Mabuza has also vowed to bring Eco­nomic Free­dom Fight­ers (EFF) leader Julius Malema and the EFF’s Mpumalanga leader, Collen Sed­ibe, back into the ANC fold.

Sed­ibe said Mabuza asked for a meet­ing af­ter a leg­is­la­ture sit­ting on Thurs­day, adding that he would meet the premier and turn him down.

EFF sec­re­tary-gen­eral Go­drich Gardee re­jected Mabuza again this week, say­ing the party was not formed to be a park­ing sta­tion, with the in­ten­tion “to re­turn to a burn­ing house called the ANC”.

“ANC stal­warts, [labour fed­er­a­tion] Cosatu and so­cial move­ments sprout­ing all over are say­ing that the ANC is rot­ten and cap­tured by the In­dian Gupta fam­ily. We are not go­ing back,” said Gardee.

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