The youth and women’s leagues of the ANC were on Tuesday accused by Cosatu of being “reckless” in their premature pronouncement on who should succeed President Jacob Zuma as party leader.
“By being cautious does not mean we are weak. We took a decision within the ANC that the succession debate was premature, and would take the ANC’s focus away from the elections … but the leagues ignored that,” Cosatu secretary Bheki Ntshantshali told reporters after its central executive committee meeting.
“The (ANC) youth league and the (ANC) women’s league, and even the MKMVA [uMkhonto we Sizwe Military Veterans Association], have been reckless. The youth league has been in hibernation for some time and then woke up … defying the decisions of the national executive committee (NEC).”
ANCYL has reportedly pronounced it did not see anything wrong with Zuma contesting elections for a third term. The party had instructed its structures to cease from throwing names around until the debate was officially open.
The women’s league had meanwhile indicated it would support a woman candidate for the ANC presidency as African Union chairperson Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma’s name was punted as her ex-husband’s successor.
The country’s largest trade union movement has reportedly decided to back Zuma’s incumbent deputy Cyril Ramaphosa to lead the ANC into the national general elections in 2019.
Ntshalintshali said Cosatu was not done with discussions and consultations within its affiliates, and would make its decision known when the process was complete.
The leagues can be forgiven for not being familiar with the processes of the ANC, he said.
“We are not in a position to judge them … the public can decide whether they want to listen carefully on their pronouncements. We have to pardon them if they do not know the policies and traditions of the ANC, or maybe they were not there in the last 20 years and do not know how the ANC successive debate is handled.”
Cosatu president Sidumo Dlamini urged ANC structures and the tripartite alliance to end public spats.
“It is important so that we can project to the public our ability to be united. It is our intention to help the ANC in becoming united again, we are also being careful in making sure that this succession debate does not divide Cosatu.”
– African News Agency (ANA)