National 2.8.2016 07:02 am

Limpopo ANC split over succession

Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa.  Photo: ANA

Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa. Photo: ANA

Tradition dictates that a deputy president always succeeds the president when his or her term of office expires.

The Limpopo ANC provincial executive committee (PEC) is split into two factions – one supporting party deputy president Cyril Ramaphosa and the other the outgoing chairperson of the African Union Commission, Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma – over the contest to be the ANC’s next president.

The Citizen understands that the ruling party, which had been united under the leadership of Premier Stan Mathabatha, is divided, with Dlamini-Zuma having the backing of many PEC members.

At the weekend, former Limpopo premier and party provincial chairperson Cassel Mathale said Dlamini-Zuma had a right to contest any ANC position.

Mathale said: “She has a right to be available to serve the movement at whatever level.”

This could be seen as an indication that he is in favour of Dlamini-Zuma taking the reins as ANC leader next year.

The ANC Women’s League and Youth League have openly called for a female president to succeed Jacob Zuma. However, Mathabatha, who is also ANC provincial chairperson, apparently has a different view, reportedly choosing to uphold the ANC tradition on succession.

Tradition dictates that a deputy president always succeeds the president when his or her term of office expires. Mathabatha’s support for Ramaphosa became apparent when he constantly referred to him at party rallies as a “son of the soil”. Ramaphosa was raised in Venda, Limpopo.

When The Citizen asked Mathale about the succession tradition, he replied: “There is no such thing as tradition in the ANC. In the ANC, we have a constitution and we have policy documents. All we have is the leadership that is serving us. They will take us to the conference.”

There has been aggressive lobbying within the PEC with the focus on 2017. One faction is canvassing for party provincial secretary Nocks Seabi to replace Mathabatha, while the other is lobbying for provincial treasurer Danny Msiza.

Seabi is said to have the backing of party deputy provincial chairperson Jerry Ndou and regional leaders from Mopani and Vhembe. Msiza is understood to have the support of Mathabatha and leaders from Peter Mokaba, Sekhukhune and Waterberg. Msiza refused to comment. Seabi was not available for comment.

But ANC provincial spokesperson Khumbudzo Ntshavheni said: “There is no contest between the two leaders. Our focus is on winning the elections.”

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