The SA Communist Party (SACP) says if the outgoing chairperson of the African Union Commission, Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, takes over the reins as ANC leader next year the ruling party would appear to be Zuma’s dynasty.
The SACP’s North West provincial secretary Madoda Sambatha told The Citizen on Monday that the party would have a problem if Dlamini-Zuma replaces her former husband, President Jacob Zuma.
“Those that are calling for a female president must convince us why the deputy president should not be the next president,” Sambatha said.
“They can’t jump and tell us that Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma is the right person. This new debate of people fundraising for a female president is a mistaken debate.”
The ANC Women’s League, ANC Youth League and the Umkhonto weSizwe Military Veterans’ Association are believed to be in favour Dlamini-Zuma replacing Zuma as ANC leader next year and ultimately as head of state in 2019. The Premier League led by the premiers of North West, Mpumalanga and Free State is also backing Dlamini-Zuma.
Sambatha said the SACP, the ANC leftist ally, wants Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa to become the next ANC president.
“This is matter of a principle. In 2005 when Zuma was removed by former President Thabo Mbeki as a deputy president, we said the deputy president should become the next ANC president,” Sambatha said.
He added: “As currently Zuma’s term is coming to an end the same principle we used to campaign for him, we are saying Cyril must be the next president”.
The SACP has fallen out with Zuma whom it helped to propel to power in 2007 in Polokwane.
Sambatha, who is also the North West Public Works MEC, said communists were ANC members and would not accept to be blackmailed.
His remarks contradict the posture taken by the SACP national leadership that the issue of who should be the next ANC president was an “organisational matter” of the ANC.
On Monday, the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) youth structure reiterated the decision taken by its mother body that Ramaphosa should succeed Zuma as ANC leader. It said the decision was based on the culture of the ANC that says when the incumbent leaves office, the deputy must take over.
“We are calling upon all those who are driving a factional position that seeks to distort our history to refrain from those tendencies,” NUM’s youth structure’s national secretary, Sabelo Mgotywa said.
“We condemn the behaviour of the leagues of the ANC that are forever in the media for wrong reasons.”
Trade union federation Cosatu and its affiliates appear to be divided between Ramaphosa and Dlamini-Zuma.
Cosatu has taken a cautious approach on the ANC’s succession debate and has asked its affiliates to engage further on the issue.