Editorials 9.1.2017 05:30 am

Dogfight for heart and soul of ANC

Presidential hopefuls Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma and Cyril Ramaphosa.

Presidential hopefuls Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma and Cyril Ramaphosa.

What looms is an untidy tug-of-war.

One of the oldest, wisest pieces of advice is “follow the money” and, cynical as that might sound, it points to yet another internal problem within the divided ranks of the ANC.

Reports that it cost three-member delegations about R2 million to get up close and personal with President Jacob Zuma and other leading lights at a gala dinner in Sandton at the weekend paint a picture of a ruling party desperate to accumulate funds in what is widely accepted as a dogfight for both the soul of the ANC and, more than likely, a costly battle for the presidency.

The decision by the ANC Women’s League to throw its weight behind Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma as the next president signals the first official salvo in the battle ahead.

But it must be said that despite plaudits on her tenure as head of the African Union Commission, Dlamini-Zuma has largely had a ceremonial function in a body that has proved on more than one occasion to be a toothless bulldog.

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At the other end of what looms as an untidy tug-of-war, Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa warned last week that rampant factionalism and the ongoing spectre of large-scale corruption could tear the party asunder.

Ramaphosa has positioned himself as a voice of reason. He has always had his detractors and the women’s league endorsement of Dlamini-Zuma represents a formidable obstacle he will have to overcome.

The growing rift, originally more evident in Gauteng than in more conservative factions in more far-flung regions of the party, has started to find roots elsewhere as Zuma has stuttered from crisis to crisis from within the party and without.

But it is, in essence, too soon to quantify just where the ANC is headed and who it is who will lead the way.

Things are certain to become interesting in the wake of yesterday’s rally at Orlando Stadium.

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