Push for Mchunu as ANC deputy president foiled

Cracks emerge in Cyril grouping

- By Kgothatso Madisa

Cracks in the President Cyril Ramaphosa grouping played out on Sunday when a move to get everyone behind Senzo Mchunu as deputy president was rejected.

Sowetan sister publicatio­n TimesLIVE understand­s that during a meeting at Premier Hotel OR Tambo in Kempton Park on Sunday, there was a move to get Ronald Lamola and Oscar Mabuyane to withdraw from the deputy president race ahead of the ANC national conference in favour of Mchunu.

This was, however, rejected by those at the meeting, who said Lamola and Mabuyane had made it onto the ballot, unlike Mchunu, via the branch nomination­s outcomes released by the ANC electoral committee.

The move is said to have been championed by cabinet ministers Mondli Gungubele, Pravin Gordhan, Barbara Creecy and former minister Derek Hanekom.

They are said to have used the term “caucus discipline” in an attempt to get everyone to rally behind Mchunu, who they said would be raised from the conference floor.

“You could hear that it was more around we’re going to tell these other ones to stand down and support Senzo, which was rejected,” said an insider who had attended the meeting.

“They disregarde­d that Mabuyane qualified, Lamola qualified. So the Mabuyane grouping boycotted that meeting.

“They were told in no uncertain terms that no-one is going to stand down for Senzo. Because what does he stand for?”

Another insider said those pushing for Mchunu were in denial, adding he did not enjoy the support they thought he did. The insider said they got a sense that those pushing for Mchunu were somewhat empowered by KZN secretary Bheki Mtolo alluding that the province may be reconsider­ing its support for acting secretaryg­eneral Paul Mashatile for the position of deputy president.

“I think there were some in denial that he couldn’t make it onto the ballot.

“Some thought there could be a revival, a miracle, because of Mtolo creating an impression that there might be support for comrade Senzo if he’s nominated from the floor,” the insider said.

After an intense back and forth, the meeting is said to have agreed there should be further engagement on the issue of deputy president.

Positions the group agreed on included Ramaphosa as its presidenti­al candidate, Gwede Mantashe as national chair, Febe Potgieter and Maropene Ramokgopa as first and second deputy secretary-general, and Gwen Ramokgopa as treasurer-general.

The problem they face is that some of the candidates they are trying to push have not made it onto the ballot and their names would have to be raised from the floor, which requires at least 25% of the more than 4,250 delegates’ support. An insider said an attempt to impose Mchunu’s candidacy through nomination from the floor would fail.

“He will never meet the threshold from the floor. It’s not going to come because they are imposing somebody who does not have numbers and support.”

 ?? /BRIAN WITBOOI ?? ANC NEC member Senzo Mchunu
/BRIAN WITBOOI ANC NEC member Senzo Mchunu

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