METHOD OR MADNESS?
Cyril Ramaphosa has been slammed for pushing the politics of factionalism by announcing his team ahead of the election.
After the announcement, the ANC issued a statement saying it was “unacceptable” for comrades to announce a line-up of officials.
“Pronouncing and circulating slates” was unacceptable and “may be seen to undermine the branches inalienable right” to select candidates of their choice, the statement – issued by Gwede Mantashe – said.
Ramaphosa hit back with a statement of his own. “The names I mentioned for leadership positions arose from interactions and nominations emerging from ANC structures. This however does not detract from the importance of reaffirming the centrality of the role of branch members as the electoral college for all elective positions in the ANC.” Analyst Ralph Mathekga says Ramaphosa would’ve gone a long way towards consolidating the fractured ANC if he had named some of the “other” candidates on the election ticket – specifically Lindiwe Sisulu or Zweli Mkhize – as his deputy.
Coming up with a completely new slate means branches and the leaders will fight to get their candidates into the national executive committee, leaving the party further divided. Yet fellow analyst Daniel Silke lauds Ramaphosa’s selection, calling his team a “balanced, solid and considered group of individuals”. They believe Ramaphosa’s team is his arsenal to take the ANC into the 2019 elections, rather than a focus on the election conference. This could backfire as the candidates are not strong individually, Silke says. However, should they make it past December 2017, it would be a great team for the national elections.