Zuma power deal doubts

Some in ANC are ques­tion­ing the pres­i­dent’s mo­tives

The Star Early Edition - - FRONT PAGE - LE­BO­GANG SEALE, GE­ORGE MAT­LALA AND KHAYA KOKO

PRES­I­DENT Ja­cob Zuma’s power-shar­ing pro­posal that could see the los­ing ANC pres­i­den­tial can­di­date be­com­ing the deputy pres­i­dent has been re­ceived with scep­ti­cism by even some of his staunch­est sup­port­ers.

ANC heavy­weight and Hu­man Set­tle­ments Min­is­ter Lindiwe Sisulu is also doubt­ful about the sug­ges­tion that could see ei­ther Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma or Cyril Ramaphosa – the fron­trun­ners in the party’s suc­ces­sion race – deputis­ing for the winning can­di­date.

Sharp di­vi­sions have also emerged about whether the ANC should use the term “white mo­nop­oly cap­i­tal” or “mo­nop­oly cap­i­tal”, de­spite Zuma’s as­ser­tion yes­ter­day that the gov­ern­ing party had re­solved that mo­nop­oly cap­i­tal was its pre­ferred pol­icy for eco­nomic trans­for­ma­tion to re­dress in­equal­ity and the re­dis­tri­bu­tion of wealth.

Zuma’s pro­nounce­ment in his clos­ing speech at the ANC’s five-day pol­icy con­fer­ence yes­ter­day, that the party had agreed on a com­pro­mise pro­posal that who­ever came sec­ond at the De­cem­ber elec­tive con­fer­ence should be­come the deputy pres­i­dent, ap­peared to cause un­easi­ness and protests from some of the del­e­gates and se­nior lead­ers.

Zuma was at pains to ex­plain that the pro­posal – which is part of the ANC’s strat­egy and tac­tics for the or­gan­i­sa­tion’s re­newal – would help get rid of the factionalism that has frac­tured the ANC.

Zuma said the ANC had learnt from the ex­pe­ri­ence of the pre­vi­ous two con­fer­ences, in Man­gaung and Polok­wane, when the party lost many “tal­ented and ca­pa­ble” com­rades, some of whom quit the party to form Cope.

“In this re­gard, a pro­posal has been made that we should all en­cour­age lob­by­ing prac­tices that will al­low a uni­fy­ing elec­toral out­come,” he said, adding that this would help build con­sen­sus in ANC struc­tures and en­sure “col­lec­tive lead­er­ship”.

Dlamini Zuma, when ap­proached for com­ment, was quick to say she sup­ported the pro­posal.

“I think the pres­i­dent was right, that we had to find a so­lu­tion that unites the or­gan­i­sa­tion, and that the pro­posal must be dis­cussed,” she said.

When asked if she would con­sider serv­ing as the deputy pres­i­dent if she lost the pres­i­den­tial race, Dlamini Zuma was non-com­mit­tal.

“The con­fer­ence will de­cide on that. I am a cadre of the or­gan­i­sa­tion and will do what the or­gan­i­sa­tion de­cides.”

Asked about her prospects at this stage, she re­torted “You are over­step­ping”.

One of Dlamini Zuma’s back­ers, Sihle Zikalala, said the pro­posal for a power-shar­ing deal was not a bad idea, but needed more de­tail.

ANC KwaZulu-Natal sec­re­tary Su­per Zuma said the push for a com­pro­mise deal had not been in­formed by panic, but was for the unity of the party.

“We don’t want to talk num­bers, they know we are com­mand­ing num­bers. There is no way we can panic. It is just for the unity of the or­gan­i­sa­tion. We will do ev­ery­thing to unite the or­gan­i­sa­tion, but not bully other prov­inces be­cause we have num­bers. KwaZulu-Natal is very solid,” he said

The Umkhonto We Sizwe Mil­i­tary Veter­ans As­so­ci­a­tion also seemed con­vinced by Zuma’s pro­posal.

As­so­ci­a­tion chair­per­son Kebby Maphat­soe said ques­tions needed to be asked on how it would af­fect the branches’ power to nom­i­nate their can­di­dates.

Maphat­soe asked what would hap­pen to a can­di­date who was nom­i­nated and con­test­ing for a deputy pres­i­dent po­si­tion if it was given au­to­mat­i­cally to the per­son who had lost the bat­tle to be pres­i­dent.

He agreed that the pro­posal seemed not to sit well with many del­e­gates.

“I also saw that it was not warmly re­ceived. So we still need to be per­suaded on this mat­ter. We need fur­ther ex­pla­na­tion,” he said.

Sisulu also sounded un­con­vinced by the pro­posal.

“The power-shar­ing thing, I am hear­ing that for the first time. And I think it is so un­for­tu­nate that it comes for the first time when the wa­ter has been mud­died,” she said.

“The branches are likely to re­ceive it with a bit of scep­ti­cism, un­less it had come right at the be­gin­ning, when the lob­by­ing started.

“We would have had re­sound­ing ap­plause from ev­ery­body. All I want to say is that I wish it had come ear­lier. There is so much factionalism.”

There was also dis­cord among se­nior ANC mem­bers over the party’s de­ci­sion to adopt “mo­nop­oly cap­i­tal” in­stead of “white mo­nop­oly cap­i­tal”. But Sisulu said she was in favour of the de­ci­sion.

“We did have se­ri­ous dis­cus­sions, but in the end we agreed we should stick to things that unite us.

“The is­sue of white mo­nop­oly cap­i­tal was in­tro­duced in the com­mis­sions.

“We ar­gued that it is mo­nop­oly cap­i­tal. I think the pres­i­dent steered that line. We agreed to stick to the things that keep us to­gether,” she said.

How­ever, Dlamini Zuma had a dif­fer­ent view: “There’s no doubt that in South Africa as a whole, it is a mo­nop­oly of the white con­glom­er­ates that dom­i­nates the econ­omy.

“So I don’t think it is even an is­sue, but else­where and in gen­eral, it is mo­nop­oly cap­i­tal. But in South Africa, if you look at Group 5, the food, bev­er­ages and con­struc­tion in­dus­tries, it’s all white dom­i­nated.”

Maphat­soe shared the same sen­ti­ments. He was adamant that his camp had not been de­feated on the de­bate. He said some among those who were ar­gu­ing against the use of “white mo­nop­oly cap­i­tal” were di­rec­tors in com­pa­nies and di­rect ben­e­fi­cia­ries.

These views were in sharp con­trast with Zuma’s as­ser­tions that the con­fer­ence had been a re­sound­ing suc­cess that had united the party.

PRES­I­DENT Ja­cob Zuma’s call for the ex­pro­pri­a­tion of land with­out com­pen­sa­tion was put on hold and de­ferred to the party’s na­tional elec­tive con­fer­ence for a fi­nal de­ci­sion in De­cem­ber.

This was re­vealed by the chair­per­son of the ANC’s eco­nomic trans­for­ma­tion com­mit­tee, Enoch Godong­wana, at the 5th ANC pol­icy con­fer­ence in Nas­rec, Soweto yes­ter­day.

Godong­wana said the branches had been directed to dis­cuss two op­tions: ex­pro­pri­a­tion of land with­out com­pen­sa­tion, or with com­pen­sa­tion.

“We have handed over these two op­tions to the branches to dis­cuss ahead of the na­tional elec­tive con­fer­ence in De­cem­ber. Some peo­ple were of the view that any form of land re­form should take place within the am­bit of the law and the con­sti­tu­tion.

“Both pro­pos­als will be tabled at the con­fer­ence for a fi­nal de­ci­sion on the mat­ter,” Godong­wana said.

Prior to the pol­icy con­fer­ence, the ANC Youth League and the party in KwaZulu-Natal were back­ing Zuma on his call for the ex­pro­pri­a­tion of land with­out com­pen­sa­tion.

How­ever, in­sid­ers told The Star that those in favour of ex­pro­pri­a­tion of land with­out com­pen­sa­tion had lost their bat­tle, and that the first signs of de­feat were ev­i­dent when Zuma aban­doned his call when he of­fi­cially opened the pol­icy con­fer­ence on Fri­day.

In his open­ing re­marks, Zuma steered clear from his own call and in­stead urged ANC mem­bers to al­low land re­dis­tri­bu­tion “within the am­bit of the law and the con­sti­tu­tion.

“We believe it is pos­si­ble to find rad­i­cal so­lu­tions to land hunger, work­ing within the am­bit of the law and the con­sti­tu­tion,” he said.

Yes­ter­day, Zuma re­it­er­ated his change of mind on the is­sue when he lodged an ap­par­ent at­tack on the EFF for con­tin­u­ing to en­cour­age peo­ple to force­fully grab land il­le­gally.

“Those who oc­cupy land il­le­gally should be ar­rested. Their acts are il­le­gal,” he em­pha­sised.

How­ever, Godong­wana played down the de­feat on the mo­tion of ex­pro­pri­a­tion of land with­out com­pen­sa­tion, say­ing the two con­tra­dict­ing mo­tions were still up for dis­cus­sion.

“We are, how­ever, go­ing ahead with ex­pro­pri­at­ing aban­doned land, es­pe­cially those be­long­ing to ab­sen­tee land­lords.

“We are also go­ing to do an au­dit of land avail­able, in­clud­ing that be­long­ing to the state, for land re­dis­tri­bu­tion.

“We also in­tend to use 4 mil­lion hectares of agri­cul­tural land be­long­ing to the state for re­dis­tri­bu­tion and resti­tu­tion,” Godong­wana said.

PIC­TURE: SIM­PHIWE MBOKAZI

COM­RADES: Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma and Deputy Pres­i­dent Cyril Ramaphosa in a dis­play of unity at the of­fi­cial clos­ing of the ANC’s 5th na­tional pol­icy con­fer­ence at Nas­rec in Soweto.

PIC­TURE: ITUMELENG ENGLISH

ON A WALKABOUT: Pres­i­dent Ja­cob Zuma, sur­rounded by his body­guards, at the ANC’s pol­icy con­fer­ence yes­ter­day.

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