IT’S A 5-HORSE RACE

New en­tries for pres­i­dent sig­nal deep rifts in ANC

The Star Early Edition - - FRONT PAGE - TSHEGO LEPULE AND BON­GANI HANS

THE RACE to lead the ANC has been thrown wide open with the en­try onto the scene of Min­is­ter in the Pres­i­dency Jeff Radebe and for­mer party trea­surer-gen­eral Mathews Phosa.

Phosa and Radebe join out­go­ing AU Com­mis­sion chair­per­son Dr Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma, Deputy Pres­i­dent Cyril Ramaphosa and Na­tional As­sem­bly Speaker Baleka Mbete in the race to suc­ceed Pres­i­dent Jacob Zuma.

The ANC goes to a wa­ter­shed elec­tive con­fer­ence in De­cem­ber with calls for unity and lead­ers told to stop cam­paign­ing, but Phosa and Radebe’s en­try into the race has re­vealed deep frac­tures in the party and given the clear­est in­di­ca­tion yet that this is not go­ing to be a two-horse race be­tween Ramaphosa and Dlamini Zuma.

Iron­i­cally Radebe, one of the long­est-serv­ing cabi­net min­is­ters and a se­nior party of­fi­cial, is Ramaphosa’s brother-in-law. They are both mar­ried to bil­lion­aire Patrice Mot­sepe’s sis­ters, Brid­gette and Tshepo, re­spec­tively.

Yesterday, Phosa took cen­tre stage in the Western Cape as ANC pro­vin­cial ex­ec­u­tive com­mit­tee mem­ber Andile Lili backed him to suc­ceed Zuma, say­ing his Ses’khona Peo­ple’s Rights Move­ment wanted him to lead the party.

Lili, the founder of Ses’khona, said the ANC in its cur­rent state was un­able to ad­dress the needs of the poor, and if that was not at­tended to, Ses’khona, an or­gan­i­sa­tion formed to fight so­cial in­jus­tice, would reg­is­ter as a po­lit­i­cal party.

Speak­ing to The Star yesterday, Lili said they would be lob­by­ing ANC mem­bers to back Phosa, a man he said is with­out scan­dal un­like some of the can­di­dates.

“We looked at the sit­u­a­tion and thought with Zuma we spent most of his term in of­fice de­fend­ing him and that would be the same with Cyril Ramaphosa, be­cause of his at­tach­ments to the Marikana and the buf­falo sagas,” he said.

“Let us look at women and men in the ANC who are cred­i­ble lead­ers… the likes of Phosa, Paul Mashatile, Blade Nz­i­mande, Thandi Modise, Lindiwe Sisulu and Lindiwe Zulu. With those peo­ple in the top six, we can start the task of unit­ing the move­ment.”

Lili said Ses’khona will not stay for long in the ANC in its cur­rent form. “As Ses’khona we feel that were there to be rad­i­cal trans­for­ma­tion in the lead­er­ship of the party, there is hope that the peo­ple who left will come back once cred­i­ble lead­ers are at the helm.”

Po­lit­i­cal an­a­lyst Daniel Silke said the ad­di­tion of Phosa to the list of can­di­dates was not an as­sur­ance he would get the sup­port the two fron­trun­ners – Dlamini Zuma and Ramaphosa – al­ready had.

“We are go­ing to see a host of names be­ing thrown out there in the com­ing months. But a lot of the names be­ing put for­ward don’t nec­es­sar­ily have suf­fi­cient sup­port to be any real threat to the two fron­trun­ners.

“What is hap­pen­ing is they are prov­ing that choices are a means of split­ting the votes. I call them de­coy can­di­dates, and we are see­ing a lot of that with the men­tion­ing of Mbete and Phosa.

“In the case of Phosa, it might be just a way of re­vi­tal­is­ing his po­si­tion in the ANC. He has mainly been on the pe­riph­ery and will use a nom­i­na­tion to re-es­tab­lish him­self,” said Silke.

He said Radebe would bring an “in­ter­est­ing new dy­namic to the race. He would be seen as a bridge­build­ing can­di­date, as he is some­one with suf­fi­cient re­spect from a va­ri­ety of for­ma­tions within the ANC. He has not been tainted.”

Sev­eral other an­a­lysts have backed Radebe’s bid to be­come the next leader of the ANC, af­ter The Star’s sis­ter pa­per, The Sun­day In­de­pen­dent, re­vealed his en­try into what is likely to be a fiercely con­tested suc­ces­sion bat­tle.

Sources said it was at a se­cret meet­ing in Sand­ton last week where Radebe agreed to chal­lenge Dlamini Zuma and Ramaphosa.

Univer­sity of the Western Cape po­lit­i­cal an­a­lyst Bheki Mn­gomezulu said Radebe was fit to lead and unite the party, which was di­vided by slates, be­cause he un­der­stood it.

“Jeff Radebe has oc­cu­pied se­nior lead­er­ship po­si­tions both in the ANC and the SACP, which makes me be­lieve that he has what it takes to take the po­si­tion should he be nom­i­nated or voted for it,” he said.

Dlamini Zuma is be­lieved to be en­joy­ing sup­port from her for­mer hus­band and the ANC Women’s League, while Ramaphosa is backed by labour fed­er­a­tion Cosatu and will likely be en­dorsed by the ANC in Gaut­eng. An­a­lyst Xolani Dube said while Dlamini Zuma and Ramaphosa had taken ex­treme po­si­tions in op­pos­ing each other, a sit­u­a­tion that seemed detri­men­tal to the ANC, Radebe would ap­peal to both sides.

THE ANC war room drama widened with claims that ANC of­fi­cials knew about the covert op­er­a­tion, but the rul­ing party de­nied the fresh claims.

It was re­ported yesterday that Sihle Bolani recorded the meet­ing with ANC gen­eral man­ager Ig­natius Ja­cobs where she gave him her first re­port, which showed the ANC was in trou­ble in the polls.

It was claimed the ANC was short of R50 mil­lion re­quired for the project.

ANC spokesper­son Khusela San­goni yesterday de­nied that ANC of­fi­cials were in­volved in the covert op­er­a­tion to plant dirt on op­po­si­tion par­ties ahead of the Au­gust mu­nic­i­pal elec­tions last year.

She said there was no ev­i­dence back­ing up such claims.

“There is noth­ing proven that the of­fi­cials were in­volved.

“If the of­fi­cials are not party to the con­tract, that con­tract can­not be recog­nised by the ANC.”

The ANC de­nied sanc­tion­ing the con­tract be­tween Ja­cobs and PR con­sul­tant Bolani.

Bolani is claim­ing mil­lions from the ANC for the project.

ANC ac­tivist Shaka Sisulu, who was also al­legedly part of the project, de­nied Bolani’s claims.

The ANC said Sisulu, Bolani and oth­ers were vol­un­teers, a claim de­nied by the PR ex­pert.

The DA said it would take the ANC to the Elec­toral Court for plant­ing dirt on it dur­ing the elec­tion cam­paign, as this was in vi­o­la­tion of the Elec­toral Code.

The of­fi­cial op­po­si­tion, which cap­tured key met­ros from the ANC in Gaut­eng and the East­ern Cape, also said its lawyers were look­ing at su­ing the ANC.

The DA also said it would meet with the Elec­toral Com­mis­sion of SA over the mat­ter.

It has not said how much it planned to sue the ANC for.

The EFF, which was also said to be the tar­get of the covert op­er­a­tion, was still deciding on the next course of ac­tion.

Bolani said last week she had been threat­ened af­ter the mat­ter be­came pub­lic.

She said in court pa­pers that the war room was man­dated to look at mud­sling­ing the op­po­si­tion, par­tic­u­larly the DA and EFF.

A let­ter from Ja­cobs showed that he en­tered into a set­tle­ment last month. This amounted to less than half of the R2.2m agreed to ini­tially for Bolani’s fee.

How­ever, she said she was paid R100 000 of the R1m set­tle­ment.

The ANC stuck to its guns that the party of­fi­cials did not sanc­tion the project and that the war room team were vol­un­teers.

There is noth­ing proven that they were in­volved

Baleka Mbete

Cyril Ramaphosa

Jeff Radebe

Mathews Phosa

Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma

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