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ANC insiders reveal plan to block Ramaphosa at elective conference

ANC insiders reveal plan to block Ramaphosa at elective conference

Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa appears to be headed for victory at the upcoming ANC national elective conference, but he may not get to occupy the hot seat if his opponents disrupt the conference.

Numbers put the former trade union leader ahead of his closest competitor, Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma. But sources in Gauteng and Limpopo said there are plans by some Dlamini-Zuma supporters to “drown” the conference in disruptive queries on credentials, effectively halting it. Credentials relate to the numbers and legitimacy of attendees.

“We are aware there is this plan.They want to stop the conference by disrupting the proceedings – but they are not going to win. We are meticulous in how we handle litigious issues,” the source said.

Political analyst Andre Duvenhage said: “It is possible there will be a disruption during the conference. It may be one of the tricks up Jacob Zuma’s sleeve. I don’t see that being done by the Ramaphosa camp.”

Unless the ANC pursued the unity route initiated by Mpumalanga Premier David Mabuza, it was likely the conference would end in a dispute or a split, he added. Duvenhage said the Ramaphosa camp might break away from the ANC if he lost to Dlamini-Zuma. “They are likely to, because if they cannot act against Zuma, where will their legitimacy come from?” he said.

Another analyst, Steven Friedman, said unity was the only option for ANC, but the only way for the party to agree on it was to ditch both Ramaphosa and Dlamini-Zuma as presidential candidates. Duvenhage said the ANC had to reach a compromise around Ramaphosa and Dlamini-Zuma to avoid a split.

He suggested the Dlamini-Zuma camp would not accept defeat. He also raised the question of corruption, where money and intimidation play a role. SACP warning over alliance The SA Communist Party is punting a reconfiguration of the ANC-SACP-Cosatu-Sanco alliance – and it seems it will be pursued. In a report presented to the central committee by SACP general secretary Blade Nzimande, pictured, one of the focus points was the deterioration of the ANC-headed alliance.

SACP spokesperson Alex Mashilo said: “It has not been easy to have a constructive official engagement with the ANC on these issues, although from many quarters of the ANC there are expressions of interest in taking these discussions further. “While there is interest from our other alliance partners, Cosatu and the SA National Civic Organisation (Sanco), it is clear that there is a better sense of what they see as the way forward that will only become clearer in the new year. However, there is strong support from both for pursuing actively a reconfiguration of the alliance,” Mashilo said.

“The SACP is certainly not alone in believing that the ANC, on its current trajectory, is unable to offer unifying leadership for the alliance or, indeed, to the country.

“The SACP is not supporting a particular slate or presidential candidate, Mashilo said. The party wanted the ANC to establish an independent judicial commission into state capture, remove “serially incompetent ministers” and prosecute “all those exposed in the Gupta e-mail and parliamentary hearings”.

The SACP also called for a fullscale inquiry into Naspers and MultiChoice. “The SACP has for some years been calling for a fullscale inquiry into the corruption surrounding government’s decision to change its set-top box (STB) policy to remove encryption to solely benefit Multi-Choice,” Mashilo said.

“We note Naspers’ Koos Bekker’s high-handed dismissal today of the set-box matter as a marginal issue. Of course, he would. The failure to move to encryption entrenches the absolute domination of our media sector by the Naspers-MultiChoice monopoly born in the apartheid-era.”

SACP is not alone in believing that the ANC is unable to offer unifying leadership for the alliance.

Alex Mashilo SACP spokesperson The Gauteng source said Mabuza’s bid to unify the two sides or to end slates has the backing of some at Luthuli House. The national office favours unity over division, notwithstanding the existing branch nominations. The leadership fear a split would have a devastating effect on the ANC, which has splintered at least four times since 1994. Mabuza has volunteered to salvage the situation although he has a personal interest in the contest.

The Dlamini-Zuma camp has offered him the deputy position, but he appears to be determined to be the kingmaker until very close to the conference. Another possible scenario is to adopt Zuma’s proposal that the loser of the two automatically becomes the deputy. This was rejected at the June policy conference, but it could be revived to prevent a split.

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