Musical chairs in Cyril’s camp
The ding-dong battle for a place in the top leadership of the governing party changes every week and the latest beneficiary could be respected ANC leader Naledi Pandor (pictured).
Supporters of presidential hopeful Cyril Ramaphosa are unhappy with Lindiwe Sisulu and are looking at Zweli Mkhize or Naledi Pandor as possible replacements.
In lists circulated on Friday, Sisulu’s name is conspicuous by its omission, after months of being touted as his deputy should Ramaphosa be elected ANC president at the party’s conference in December. This has not come as a surprise, even from her own camp. Some of its members were growing increasingly frustrated about a series of controversial statements which fuelled calls for her to be removed.
On Friday, staunch Ramaphosa lobbyists deliberately omitted her name during a Congress of SA Trade Unions (Cosatu) cadres’ forum in Mpumalanga. Ramaphosa and ANC Chief Whip Jackson Mthembu were among those in attendance. Cosatu deputy general secretary Solly Phetoe made it clear that currently no names are being proposed for the post of ANC deputy president and deputy secretarygeneral, a statement that Ramaphosa did not dispute. He simply smiled from his seat.
“Comrade Senzo Mchunu for secretary-general, comrade Gwede Mantashe for chairperson, comrade Paul Mashatile for treasurer. The other positions must still be decided by comrades,” Phetoe told the packed hall.
The Ramaphosa camp is now faced with the conundrum of finding two women to make up their top six in order to meet the ANC’s gender quota.
There is a strong push to have Cosatu’s first deputy president Zingiswa Losi fill the deputy secretarygeneral slot.
While Sisulu lost her place on the Ramaphosa slate, this does not mean branches will shun her. Many of them are still nominating her as deputy president.