BANK ON DI­VIDED ANC

Rul­ing party ‘faces real prospect of los­ing 2019 poll’

The Star Late Edition - - FRONT PAGE - LUYOLO MKENTANE, TEBOGO MONAMA AND GE­ORGE MATLALA

A CON­FI­DEN­TIAL sur -vey on the coun­try’ s di­rec­tion by a division of one of the big four banks has laid bare the widen­ing schism be­tween sup­port­ers of Pres­i­dent Ja­cob Zuma and his deputy, Cyril Ramaphosa. Yes­ter­day, the ANC Women’ s League (ANCWL) launched a blis­ter­ing at­tack on RMB (Rand Mer­chant Bank ), a division of the First Rand Bank, own­ers of FNB, ef­fec­tively ac­cus­ing them of sup­port­ing Ramaphosa over its pre­ferred can­di­date, for­mer AU Com­mis­sion chair­per­son Nkosaza na Dlamini Zuma. The sur­vey, “Po­lit­i­cal views in a post-down­grade, post-Gord­han SA”, which The Star has seen, was con­ducted among top po­lit­i­cal an­a­lysts in the coun­try. It con­cluded that there was a “mean­ing­ful prob­a­bil­ity” that the ANC would lose power in 2019. The sur­vey says the ANC’s loss of power would be caused by a vic­tory f or Dlamini Zuma dur­ing the party’ se­lec­tive con­fer­ence in De­cem­ber, which would en­sure that Pres­i­dent Ja­cob Zuma stays at the Union Build­ings un­til 2019. This did not sit well with the ANCWL, which lashed out at the RMB de­spite the re­port not hav­ing been made pub­lic. The league ac­cused the pri­vate bank of hav­ing an in­ter est in the ANC’s lead­er­ship suc­ces­sion and of tac­itly sup­port­ing Ramaphosa to suc­ceed Zuma when he steps down as ANC leader in De­cem­ber , and pos­si­bly be­come pres­i­dent in 2019. The ANCWL al­leged that the re­port por­trayed the ANC “as a dy­ing or­gan­i­sa­tion that will not win 2019 elec­tions and is ex­pected to split should the pre­ferred can­di­date of RMB not be elected as the ANC pres­i­dent in De­cem­ber 2017”. The five po­lit­i­cal an­a­lysts polled were Prince Mashele, Steven Fried­man, An­thony But­ler, Ralph Mathekga and Stephen Grootes. RMB claimed that through its Global Mar­kets Re­search Team it sent the re­port to its clients on April 13. How­ever, T he Star has esta b- lished tha t the r eport was f or the bank’s in­ter­nal po­lit­i­cal risk assess­ment. The fi­nan­cial in­sti­tu­tion said it reg­u­larly pub­lished re­ports and the one in ques­tion re­flected the views of the five an­a­lysts. “The re­port re­flects re­sponses to questions put to the an­a­lysts, whose an­swers were expr essed as prob­a­bil­i­ties. The questions ask ed cov­ered key is­sues tha t have been dom­i­nat­ing me­dia co ve­r­age o ver the past tw o weeks,” RMB said in a state­ment. It claimed the r eport did not re­flect its vie ws. “It has been sug­gested that the re­port claimed that the ANC was ‘a dy­ing or­gan­i­sa­tion’ and that there is an expr es­sion of a pr eferred can­dida te of RMB’. Nei­ther state­ment nor any sug­ges­tions of suc h sen­ti­ments ex­ist in the re­port,” the bank said. But a sec­tion of the re­port ti­tled RMB in­ter­pre­ta­tions sta tes: “T he cen­tral sce­nario be­ing painted is an ad verse po­lit­i­cal en vi­ron­ment up un­til, but po­ten­tially a change at, the 2019 elec­tion.” It fur ther states that “the mar ket ma y be un­der - pric­ing the prob­a­bil­ity tha t Zuma gets forced from of fice in the next few months”. When con­tacted f or com­ment last night, Mathekga stood by his as­sess­ments in the sur­vey. “The ANC is at a knife-edge and it is a t risk of los­ing in 2019 if it doesn’t do any­thing dras­tic.” He scor ed 50% on the pos­si­bil­ity of the r ul­ing par ty los­ing the elec­tions in 2019 and 68% on the pos­si­bil­ity that the ANC w ould be split af­ter the wa­ter­shed elec­tive con­fer­ence in De­cem­ber. “This is based on the last elec­tive con­fer ences. Af­ter the electi ve con­fer­ence (2007) where Zuma was elected, Cope was formed and in 2012 the EFF was formed. There is a trend that at ev­ery gathering ev­ery loser starts new par­ties.” Mathekga said af­ter the De­cem­ber con­fer­ence, Ramaphosa would be the loser and Dlamini Zuma would win the race for the pres­i­dency. Mashele g ave Dlamini Zuma a 70% chance of be­com­ing the next ANC pres­i­dent be­cause “the per­son spon­sor­ing her cam­paign, Ja­cob Zuma, con­trols the struc­tures of the ANC”. “Zuma has contr ol over those who run prov­inces. In tur n, they have con­trol over the del­e­gates who will vote at the elec­tive con­fer­ence in De­cem­ber. That is why Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma has alr eady won the con­fer­ence,” he said.

Ear­lier yes­ter­day, speak­ing on Ra­dio 702, UK politi­cian and busi­ness­man Lord An­thony St John of Bletso said in­vestors had ex­pressed con­cerns a bout po­lit­i­cal de vel­op­ments in the coun­try f ol­low­ing Zuma’s cab­i­net reshuf­fle in which he fired Pravin Gord­han as fi­nance min­is­ter. He called on Rama phosa to be more vo­cal and “stand up for what is right”.

“Ramaphosa is not a good choice. He is not bold enough and not v ery a ggres­sive. He doesn ’t have a base in the ANC and the odds are stacked against him,” said Mathekga. This came as the ANC’s al­liance part­ners, the SA CP and Cosa tu ratch­eted up their on­slaught on Zuma, with the la bour fed­era tion re­it­er­at­ing it w ould soon send a del­e­ga­tion to con vince him pri­vately to step down. Yes­ter­day, Cosa tu g en­eral sec­re­tary Bheki Nt­shal­intshali told a pro­vin­cial shop ste ward coun­cil meet­ing at the Johannesburg City Hall that lead­ers should know “when (their) lead­er­ship is no longer de­sired. Work­ers should not be march­ing for you to step down”. He ac­cused Zuma of ha ving dou­ble stan­dards on the lead­er­ship suc­ces­sion. “When the pres­i­dent wanted to be pres­i­dent, he didn’t re­mem­ber tha t w omen can lead. But no w he has to step down, he re­mem­bers tha t women can lead…”

Speak­ing a t the same e vent, SACP leader and Higher Ed­u­ca­tion Min­is­ter Blade Nz­i­mande sug­gested they had made a mis­take by re­mov­ing for­mer pres­i­dent Thabo Mbeki in 2008, think­ing they w ere ad­dress­ing challenges within the rul­ing move-ment.

“Some of the things tha t were hap­pen­ing ther e (dur­ing Mbeki’ s era) was the f act that there wasn’t enough con­sulta tion in the move­ment. No w, the same things are con­tin­u­ing.”

Cyril doesn’t have a base in ANC. The odds are stacked against him

PIC­TURE: REUTERS

DOUBTS: Deputy Pres­i­dent Cyril Ramaphosa’s lead­er­ship abil­i­ties came un­der fire yes­ter­day.

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