Patronage networks dig in
AS LEADERSHIP BATTLES
in the ANC begin heating up ahead of the 2012 elective conference in Bloemfontein, the party has broken its traditional stance on members lobbying for positions and has drafted a set of rules for succession battles. While these rules are likely to be adopted at the party’s general council meeting later this year, ANC secretary general Gwede Mantashe told the party’s National Executive committee the move was intended to take the debate about leadership out of the realm of conspiracy.
“Contestation at conference is healthy and normal and shouldn’t be conflated to mean there are divisions in the ANC. Look at the organisation: it’s almost 100 years old. There’s no leader that old in the ANC. Leaders come and go, but the ANC remains,” he said.
Meanwhile, critical battles for the leadership are being fought in provinces, where conferences have started being held. Gauteng, a critical province to have support from if you have aspirations to end up among the ANC’s national leadership in 2012, has held its conference. It’s often a good dipstick into how the national elective conference will go.
Notably, what’s become known as the anti-Zuma faction lost out at this conference. Gauteng premier Nomvula Mokonyana – backed by ANC Youth League president Julius Malema and ANC secretary general wannabe and currently Deputy Minister of Police, Fikile Mbalula – didn’t manage to oust Paul Mashatile as the chair of the party in the province.
While the Mbalula/Malema camp is now unable to parade SA’s most prestigious province as proof they have support for their outspoken mission to get rid of Mantashe from the