Hardly a year after ANC president Cyril Ramaphosa replaced former president Jacob Zuma as head of the ANC the thuma mina leader has failed to convince critics he has the authority to see through his anti-corruption vision for the party.
Political economist Zamikhaya Maseti said Ramaphosa’s main weakness lay in the branches where his anti-corruption stance has found no resonance, judging by the return of controversial members to ANC lists ahead of the national executive’s conference.
“The problem with the lists is that the branches were not given a chance to interrogate candidates. That work should have been done before these lists were finalised,” said Maseti.
This week, ANC spokesperson Zizi Kodwa said candidates would be subjected to a vetting process which would include whether they have a history of “fostering division”.
But Maseti said this should have been done at ground level. “This weakens the party at local level in their ability to root out corruption.”
Political analyst Ralph Mathekga said the behaviour of branches and provinces, as well as the re-emergence of Zuma in the ANC spotlight, cast doubt on whether Ramaphosa had enough bite.
“He has not succeeded when it comes to having authority in the party and that can be seen in the branches not yielding to his position on corruption. If he had that authority, you would not see the likes of (former home affairs minister) Malusi Gigaba on their candidate lists.”