Ramaphosa the favourite to take over ANC reins
A mock ballot conducted by the Durban-based Xubera Institute for Research and Development concluded that Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa was the favourite to replace President Jacob Zuma as the president of the ANC, however participants raised the most number of concerns around his trustworthiness.
Former African Union (AU) Commission chairperson Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma came in second – but also not without baggage – and was closely followed by Minister in the Presidency Jeff Radebe.
Radebe was the most trusted among the three, although the roundtable discussion included in the report, titled In Search of a Leader Befitting the Aspirations of South Africans, took place early in February – before it came to light that he had exchanged sexually suggestive SMSes with a female presidency staff member in 2014.
The participants were “mainly academics, professionals, people in business and civil society”.
Ramaphosa was hailed as “a person wealthy enough not to be tempted to dip his hand in the cookie jar; understands business and will thus boost investor confidence; has an understanding of labour issues; and his involvement in the Convention for a Democratic SA negotiations put him in high standing”.
However, the participants also cautioned that he could “promote the capitalist agenda and would not pay much attention to the plight of the poor, and [would concentrate] on high-level strategic matters, thus neglecting local economic focus”, and that the “Marikana massacre is still his albatross”.
Feedback from participants also showed that Ramaphosa was seen to have an “interest in government business” and that he was not actively championing the interests of young people.
The report said South Africa was ready for a female president, which would work in Dlamini-Zuma’s favour as