Ngwako Modjadji
2 minute read
17 Jul 2015
6:00 am

Three ANC provinces mute on Zuma succession

Ngwako Modjadji

In a move to put a lid on jostling to replace President Jacob Zuma at the helm of the ANC, three provinces have flatly refused to talk about the matter.

FILE PICTURE: ANC supporters at the Lucas Moripe stadium in Atteridgeville. Picture: Christine Vermooten

Gauteng, Mpumalanga and Limpopo all said there is no succession debate for now on who should take over the reins as ANC president at the party’s elective conference in 2017.

Gauteng ANC head of communications Nkenke Kekana said the province does not have a position on the leadership race.

“Branches will decide who they want before the conference,” Kekana said. “The matter would be left to conference in 2017 to decide.”

Mpumalanga was also waiting to discuss the matter at an appropriate time.

Party provincial spokesperson Sibusiso Themba said there was no “rush” on the succession battle.

“We are not yet there. We cannot comment,” Themba said.

Limpopo ANC secretary Knocks Seabi lashed out at those discussing the leadership race against the party’s national executive committee directive.

“Those who are discussing are expressing their own views,” Seabi said.

“The ANC in Limpopo has not discussed the issue of succession. It is for the branches to decide who should be the next leader.”

There is already talk that Zuma is rallying behind his former wife, African Union Commission chairperson Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma to succeed him amid rumours that the road for his deputy, Cyril Ramaphosa, to succeed him was not clear.

Gauteng and Limpopo are believed to be rallying behind Ramaphosa. The two provinces supported former deputy president Kgalema Motlanthe’s bid to unseat President Jacob Zuma as party president in Mangaung in 2012.

Some tripartite alliance insiders claim ANC chairperson and National Assembly Speaker Baleka Mbete is positioning herself as a possible candidate for either presidency of the party or the country.

But ANC secretary general Gwede Mantashe recently told The Citizen there was no succession battle in the ANC.

“There is an elective conference where leadership will be elected,” Mantashe said.

There are fears that the leadership discussions will divide the ANC as it did in the run-up to the 2007 Polokwane conference.