The African National Congress’ Women’s League ( ANCWL) on Monday pleaded to be given the opportunity to formulate a proper reaction to the defeat of their preferred candidate Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma at ongoing 54th elective conference underway in Johannesburg.
“Allow the women to have a proper discussion, and a proper response so that the response will really reflect what has happened out there as [far as] they [Women’s League] are concerned,” Zulu addressed reporters who had mobbed ANCWL leader Bathabile Dlamini.
The ANCWL president declined to talk, prompting Zulu to chip in as they emerged from a closed door meeting.
“All I’m asking is that please stop chasing them. Give them an opportunity to really sit back. As you can see we are sitting back in there, we are working on something. You will be briefed as soon as that is done.”
Zulu however stated that the women’s section of the ANC was not seeking a recount of the votes cast in the tightly contested leadership race.
“If we wanted that, according to the ANC constitution, we would have done it in the hall [where the results were announced]. We are not there,” said Zulu as she walked away.
Cyril Ramaphosa, the man former president Nelson Mandela said was his preferred successor, on Monday won the presidency of the ANC after a fractious battle with Dlamini-Zuma.
Ramaphosa won with 2,440 votes to Dlamini-Zuma’s 2,261, indicating not only the closeness of the race but also the deep divisions within the party after 10 years under President Jacob Zuma as leader.
The rand soared to its highest level against major currencies in months as news broke of Ramaphosa’s victory.
The only official who will have business as usual going forward is deputy secretary general Jessie Duarte. Her five colleagues will have to hand-over either in the next few days or at least until the next conferences of affected structures as it happened in the previous two conferences.
Top of the list is the new secretary general Ace Magashule. He is currently the premier of the province and the chairperson of the party in the Free State. Besides being required to be based at Luthuli House on fulltime basis, it is a foregone conclusion that Magashule will have to vacate his office in Bloemfontein and head to Johannesburg.
Gauteng MEC for coopertive governance and human settlements Paul Mashatile currently serves as the party’s chairperson in Gauteng. Even though, strictly speaking, he is not required at the party’s headquarters as frequently as a Treasurer General, it will be a tall order to expect him to continue being a political head of a provincial department and chairperson.
Another dynamic that will play itself out, but not new to ANC, is the party president Cyril Ramaphosa who currently serves as the deputy president of the country. At Polokwane national conference in 2007, Thabo Mbeki lost to Jacob Zuma and did not serve for much longer as the head of state as he was soon recalled by the NEC.
Newly elected deputy president of the party David Mabuza, whose campaign leading to the announcement stressed party unity, is also chairperson of Mpumalanga and heads the province as the premier. A customary practice in the party is that the deputy president of the country preferably gets deployed as the deputy president of the country.
Also less likely to experience any difficulties in his new role is chairperson Gwede Mantashe. After ten years as secretary general, he will be able to ease into his position. A few months ago, he told the media that after 10 years he looks forward to not spending time at Luthuli House as an extension of his term will “kill” him.
What people are saying on Twitter
We’ve given the ANC more than enough time to get its house in order. All it’s produced is ambiguity. In 2019, we need a parliament that doesn’t just rubber stamp ANC NEC decisions; where there is real accountability. #CR17 #ANC54
— Sizwe Mpofu-Walsh (@SizweMpofuWalsh) December 18, 2017
— Xolani Mbanjwa (@mbanjwax) December 18, 2017
— Ditched the Skreets (@tapowshos) December 18, 2017
— Ambassador @Tweets (@OlebogengReg) December 18, 2017
The ANC top six announced live:
Ramaphosa beat Dlamini-Zuma by about 200 votes and secured the presidency by an overwhelming majority. Ramaphosa was supported by ANC chairperson Baleka Mbete who expressed her backing for him late on Saturday night. Mbete’s show of support was surprising given she had been an avid backer of President Jacob Zuma.
Watch the ANC Conference results live
How the results will be announced
Pandaemonium, ululation and high-decibel level of celebration is expected as soon as the results are announced by the electoral commission this afternoon.
As per tradition those candidates who make the cut will not have much time for song and dance with their supporters. All candidates to the Top Six must be announced within the allocated time without much interruption.
The Top Six leader will be called into the podium and officially release the current NEC as their term of office would have official expired. The newly elected chairperson will take over the running of the conference from Baleka Mbete.
The new leadership will then take charge of the proceedings while it’s not clear whether commissions and policy discussions will continue in the form and timeframes allocated on the original programme which has been altered several times.
The next big item will be the announcement of the NEC, 80 members will be voted in, and expected to be announced to the delegates. The NEC will most probably also handle most of the times deferred from this conference.
The weakening support base of South Africa’s governing African National Congress has come under close scrutiny at the ongoing 54th national elective conference currently underway in Johannesburg.
The organisational report of the party’s top structure, the National Executive Committee, presented to thousands of delegates at the conference by outgoing secretary-general Gwede Mantashe bemoans the party’s below par performance in the 2016 local government elections and draws a parallel with the fortunes of other liberation movements on the continent after they won power.
“There are indications of a growing trust deficit between society and the ANC. In the second half of this term, we saw a decline in our performance in the 2016 local government elections, dropping by eight percent compared to the 2014 elections,” said Mantashe.
“Of particular concern are the massive losses incurred in the metros, something that threatened to relegate the ANC into a rural party, in a similar manner to other liberation movements that are in decline.”
Mantashe said the collective leadership of the ANC had tried to maintain unity, but factionalism had taken a bitter toll.
“In some instances, decision-making is removed from structures, resulting in them being used as a sounding board or a mere formality. Despite this, the structures are expected to take collective responsibility for and defend decisions they cannot honestly own,” said Mantashe.
“The culture of a vibrant internal democracy, wherein all views are sought and consensus reached based on the best and appropriate action, is almost non-existent. Resultantly, motivated only by the mentality to work any debate or election, results of every conference are appealed immediately [after] they are announced. Court challenges are commonplace option where results do not favour one or the other faction.”
Mantashe had earlier this year expressed dismay that President Jacob Zuma had failed to consult the top leaders of the party before announcing yet another Cabinet reshuffle.
In the hard-hitting report, Mantashe said materialism, particularly the use of money “is a cancer eating away at our organization – both its leadership and membership”.
“We are today faced with a painful challenge, where the entirety of the liberation movement is projected as corrupt. State capture is a reality facing our society, that forms part of public discourse – including the legislature inquiries and private debates. Often, numerous revelations come to the fore, for instance, the Gupta emails some of which are confirmed by those accused,” he said.
Mantashe however said many within the ANC were in denial that state capture was a reality in South Africa.
Women contesting the presidency of the African National Congress (ANC) for the first time showed that patriarchy within the governing party has been defeated, said ANC national executive committee member Nomvula Mokonyane.
Patriarchy was “entrenched and deep in the movement”, she told reporters on the sidelines of the party’s national conference taking place in Nasrec, Johannesburg.
“We have broken the back of patriarchy within the ANC…that is one of the things I am celebrating even before (election) results are announced. There has never been a woman candidate before… we made it,” she said.
Out of seven presidential hopefuls, which included two women, Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma and party deputy president Cyril Ramaphosa emerged as the contenders for the ANC top job on Sunday.
Mokonyane declined nomination as party treasurer after receiving 289 nominations from KwaZulu-Natal on the Dlamini-Zuma slate. She said she declined nomination after reflecting on problems in the governing party and the “need for unity”.
“My view was that let me also demonstrate commitment to unity within the ANC and decline nomination in public, you cannot have three people running for the same position. I think this will be a contribution others will never forget.”
The treasurer position is being contested by Gauteng ANC chairman Paul Mashatile and NEC member Maite Nkoana-Mashabane.
Mokonyane is a staunch supporter of President Jacob Zuma and had rallied behind Dlamini-Zuma’s campaign. However, she was unable to convince Gauteng’s West Rand to pick the former African Union chairwoman.
Dlamini-Zuma’s staunch supporters in the region also include Cooperative Governance Minister Des Van Rooyen and ANC Youth League (ANCYL) Treasurer Reggie Nkabinde. They all failed to convince branches to pick Dlamini-Zuma.
Her province endorsed Ramaphosa in the run up to the conference.
Mokonyane said the ANC should be the winner after the conference and that she would rally behind the new leader elected.
Additional reporting by African News Agency