The Star Early Edition
Cyril names his team
THE ANC succession battle yesterday moved up a gear after Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa took the extraordinary step of announcing a team he wants to lead the governing party with him.
The unusual move saw Human Settlements Minister Lindiwe Sisulu dropped as the potential deputy to Ramaphosa.
The former trade union leader’s decision was unusual given the tradition of the party’s leaders not to publicly reveal those they want to lead with.
It also opened him to accusations that he was openly factional and pushing the politics of slates.
Speaking at his campaign rally at Tafelkop Stadium in the Sekhukhune district of Limpopo, Ramaphosa said he wanted Science and Technology Minister Naledi Pandor as his deputy when the party’s elective congress is held next month.
Ramaphosa also told the large crowd of supporters that he wanted former KwaZulu-Natal ANC chairman and premier, Senzo Mchunu to be secretary-general of the party.
“These are the leaders that will take the organisation forward and rebuild it.
“We want to build a team and the team we want to build is called ‘The Winning Team’,” Ramaphosa said.
He has lined up current ANC secretary-general Gwede Mantashe as national chairman and Gauteng chairman Paul Mashatile as treasurer-general.
Yesterday’s rally was part of Ramaphosa’s intense two-day campaign trail which started on Saturday.
The campaign in Vhembe and Sekhukhune included meetings with kings, traditional leaders and delegates to the elective congress.
Limpopo is one of the provinces where Ramaphosa and former AU Commission chairperson Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma are in an intense battle. Mantashe’s installation on Ramaphosa’s slate comes as no suprise as he has been agitating for Ramaphosa to be allowed to succeed Jacob Zuma on the basis of the deputy succeeding the incumbent.
Mchunu has been one of a few ANC leaders heading Ramaphosa’s campaign in KwaZulu-Natal, considered to be Dlamini Zuma’s stronghold.
Among senior ANC leaders with Ramaphosa in Limpopo were national executive members Mathole Motshekga and Health Minister Aaron Motsoaledi, who he said he wanted in the party’s national executive.
Sekhukhune district executive mayor and deputy regional chairman Stan Ramaila said the region was behind Ramaphosa, who said deep-seated corruption among current party leaders had caused loss of hope in the party’s ability to transform the country in the interest of the majority.
“We want the president to set up that commission of inquiry so that all those stealing our money are identified and made to bring it back,” he said.
Meanwhile, supporters of Dlamini Zuma accompanied President Zuma to the West Rand, in Gauteng, to drum up support for her campaign.
Umkhonto weSizwe Military Veterans Association treasurer Des van Rooyen and Water and Sanitation Minister Nomvula Mokonyane came to Kagiso to help dilute Ramaphosa’s backing, which is led by the provincial leadership.
Van Rooyen said Dlamini Zuma was in a good position to carry out radical economic transformation.
Zuma warned against factionalism in the party, saying radical economic transformation had to do with the changing of the structure of the economy. “We must finish factions,” he said.
Zuma said those who were speaking against the ANC in the run-up to the conference should be spoken to.
The unity of the ANC beyond the conference was critical. “Let’s not take the elective conference as a war,” he said, speaking mainly in isiZulu.
“SHE deceived us all. Including myself. The eloquence and high moral standing that she presented to us fooled us all. I personally feel cheated.”
With these harsh words, former ANC MP Makhosi Khoza laid into Public Protector Busiswe Mkhwebane, accusing her of deceiving the parliamentary committee that appointed her. Khoza was the head of that committee.
Mkhwebane and Khoza were scheduled to share the stage at a round table discussion on Mkhwebane’s first year on office. The event was hosted by the Hanns Seidel Foundation and Catholic Parliamentary Liaison Office in Cape Town. Mkhwebane, however, snubbed the event.
The snub comes as calls for an inquiry to test her fitness to hold office become louder and her mishandling of the controversial report into banking giant Absa, which she ordered to repay R1.125 billion, and instructed Parliament to amend the constitution and SA Reserve Bank Act.
“We could have never thought she would do what she has done so far. She had the eloquence and fit the criteria of the public protector. However, what was at stake was getting to the bottom point. That was the problem, not process in selecting a person for the job. “But not only did she deceive political parties, she deceived a whole nation,” she said.
Khoza also said her experience should not be a matter for discussion.
“I was 26 years old when I was elected as the deputy mayor of Pietermaritzburg. At that time I’d never held R10 000 in my hands. It is not fair and very unwarranted to punch holes in her experience,” she said.
Khoza, however, said there were two critical positions in the country: that of public protector and president.
“When we look at these two people now, we might see some collusion. If the public protector consults with the president on which cases must get preference… that has nothing with to do with experience. It has to do with your moral compass. She made us believe she was someone she was clearly not,” Khoza said.
Without referring to the Absa report, Khoza said Mkhwebane’s orders were reckless.
“Previous public protectors never made orders like that. They would always make recommendations,” she said.
Cleo Mosana, Mkhwebane’s spokesperson, said an invite to speak at the event was sent late.
“It was sent to our communications department. Advocate Mkhwebane wanted to go, but she had other commitments which she already agreed to attend. It was then delegated to one our directors, but the official had prior meetings scheduled with the Health Ombudsman. It was really unfortunate that we could not attend,” she said.
Asked about Khoza’s comments, Mosana said: “It is really unfortunate and somewhat unwarranted. It’s advocate Mkhwebane’s first year in office and it would be very unfair to judge her so harshly so early. The mistake (Absa report) she already acceded too.”
‘Not only did she deceive parties, but a nation’