‘If the ANC doesn’t elect Cyril, it will die’

South African Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa.

South African Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa.

Political analysts have weighed in on the big year awaiting the ANC, with one saying that fiddling with its own succession culture could prove fatal.

Tensions within the ANC are more than likely to escalate next year, political analyst Ralph Mathekga told The Citizen yesterday, adding that 2017 was going to be all about the ANC.

This comes as Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa and outgoing African Union Commission chairperson Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma are set to lock horns for the top job at the party’s elective national conference due next December.

While six candidates are said to be bidding to replace President Jacob Zuma as ANC leader, Ramaphosa and Dlamini-Zuma are seen as the frontrunners. Mathekga said fully fledged tensions within the ANC are likely.

“It will be the year of the ANC, and we will see a lot of wrangles within the party.

“Business elites and interest groups from outside the country will also try to influence the outcome of the ANC elective conference,” said Mathekga.

Political analyst Elvis Masoga agreed, saying 2017 would be a make-or-break year for the ANC, Africa’s oldest liberation movement.

“The ANC’s national elective conference presents the last opportunity for the ANC to continue to survive or perish,” Masoga said.

According to Masoga, Ramaphosa holds the master key for the ruling party’s survival.

He warned that if the ANC deviated from its culture of its deputy succeeding the president, the party would die.

Speculation is rife that Zuma wants his former wife, Dlamini-Zuma, to succeed him as ANC leader.

Zuma’s allies, the ANC Women’s League, ANC Youth League and the Umkhonto weSizwe Military Veterans’ Association, have openly called for Dlamini-Zuma to take over.

Mathekga said 2017 was going to be a tense time for ordinary South Africans, who will feel the direct impact of political decisions on the economy.

“The economy is not growing and there are no jobs. Technically we are in recession,” he said.

– ngwakom@citizen.co.za

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