Mkhize could clinch ANC race as com­pro­mise leader

The Mercury - - NEWS - Bon­gani Hans

FOR­MER KwaZulu-Natal ANC chair­per­son Zweli Mkhize stands a good chance of be­com­ing the next party leader if the pres­i­den­tial con­tes­ta­tion be­tween Cyril Ramaphosa and Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma be­comes too di­vi­sive dur­ing the con­fer­ence in De­cem­ber.

Po­lit­i­cal an­a­lyst Daniel Silke said with Ramaphosa and Dlamini Zuma sup­port run­ning neck and neck, the risk is that it might threaten to dis­rupt the con­fer­ence and fur­ther di­vide the ANC.

He said del­e­gates might reach con­sen­sus to dump both of them and choose Mkhize, who is the ANC trea­surer-gen­eral, as a com­pro­mise leader.

“Mkhize is an out­sider in the di­vi­sion, and he would be­come a fron­trun­ner if there is dead­lock over lead­er­ship of the other can­di­dates (Ramaphosa and Dlamini Zuma).

If there is some sort of in­ter­nal im­plo­sion at the con­fer­ence, some­body may emerge in or­der to unite, and un­der those con­di­tions he could be a use­ful con­tender for power,” Silke said.

Mkhize is criss-cross­ing the coun­try ad­dress­ing ANC gath­er­ings, and em­pha­sis­ing unity as the corner­stone of his cam­paign. Last week he was in Pi­eter­mar­itzburg to ad­dress busi­ness peo­ple, who claimed to be ANC mem­bers in good stand­ing. On Thurs­day he was at the Sand­ton Con­ven­tion Cen­tre in Jo­han­nes­burg to ad­dress another gath­er­ing.

Silke said in or­der for the party to emerge united from the con­fer­ence, it needed a “solid” win­ner, as the ANC needed to unify be­hind a par­tic­u­lar leader “no mat­ter who that leader might be”.

“If the win­ning can­di­date does not get more than 60% of the vote, that could lead to fur­ther ac­ri­mony and di­vi­sion within the party.

“Its not a mat­ter of who wins, but the size of that vic­tory. There­fore we should not rule out the prospect of some­one like Zweli Mkhize as a com­pro­mise can­di­date,” he said.

Another po­lit­i­cal an­a­lyst, Bheki Mn­gomezulu, said although Dlamini Zuma had started her cam­paign ahead of other con­tes­tants, and en­joyed the sup­port of the ANC Youth League, Women’s League and MK Mil­i­tary Vet­er­ans As­so­ci­a­tion, and big prov­inces such as KwaZulu-Natal, Ramaphosa had al­most caught up.

He en­joys sup­port from Cosatu, the SACP, vet­er­ans and pro-for­mer KwaZulu-Natal chair­per­son Senzo Mchunu’s fac­tion.

“The main fo­cus of CR17 is anti-cor­rup­tion and unity in the ANC, since his cam­paign is built around that. NDZ is pri­mar­ily on the rad­i­cal eco­nomic trans­for­ma­tion (ticket), and any other is­sue be­comes se­condary,” said Mn­gomezulu..

ZWELI MKHIZE

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