Mu­si­cal chairs in Cyril’s camp

CityPress - - News - – Staff re­porters

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.

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