Guest Column

Why Kgalema jumped

2012-12-17 19:43
Kgalema Motlanthe (Picture: AFP)

Kgalema Motlanthe (Picture: AFP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Carien du Plessis, City Press

Witnessing political suicide is a grim matter, and the just over 4 000 voting delegates in today’s ANC’s plenary know it.

There were no victorious cheers from detractors (who have already proved on the first day of the conference under way in Mangaung that they can be really loud) when it was announced that Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe had withdrawn from the race for his current position in the ANC, even though he stood a chance  albeit a small one  of retaining the post.

Confusion was already palpable when Motlanthe's name as nominated candidate for deputy president was announced.

Some in the massive marquee probably already knew he had withdrawn earlier this morning.

The withdrawal was announced only after the names of Tokyo Sexwale, Mathews Phosa and Cyril Ramaphosa - who received huge cheers and applause and is likely to be a shoo-in - were read out as fellow contenders.

By withdrawing, Motlanthe seems to have acted contrary to his "principled" stance to date of listening to what the branches say.

There were enough branches who wanted him to run as deputy president for him to have taken on the challenge. There were many more who would have voted for him in order to see “unity and continuity" in the party. Even Zuma himself is rumoured to have wanted Motlanthe to stay on as his deputy. So why would Mkhuluwa unilaterally take it upon himself to jump?

It appears that Motlanthe, who has attracted the ire of even his most loyal supporters for being "indecisive" (by, for example, not making it clear whether he’d run for president or deputy or not), has, in the last minutes of his political life on the ANC’s top six, at last grown a spine.

By withdrawing as candidate for deputy president when it was clear that the incumbent Jacob Zuma will pip him to the presidential post, Motlanthe was in effect saying he was prepared to contest Zuma, but not serve under him.

The withdrawal from the floor from the race for deputy secretary-general by Thandi Modise, who was in that position until today, had a similar ring to it.

By the volume of the cheers it was clear that Jessie Duarte would have beaten her to it anyway, but by withdrawing at the last minute and publicly so, she, too, was indicating to the world that she’s not willing to serve under Zuma any longer.

By declining deputy presidential nomination, Motlanthe also showed up the divisions in the "anything but Zuma" camp.

Had he run for deputy president, it was likely that Phosa and Sexwale would have declined nomination so as not to split the anti-Zuma, anti-Ramaphosa vote, and out of deference for Motlanthe, who they support more than Zuma.

With both of them running for deputy president, it is likely that they will be splitting the vote of the already floundering anti-Zuma camp, meaning they have a snowflake's chance in hell of being elected.

They are probably standing to see which of them can garner the most votes against the other (they are said to have had a fall-out in the past few months), or maybe they wanted to spice up the race for deputy president a bit. Or it could be that they wanted history to record that Ramaphosa was contested.

An interesting aside is that the last time the trio (Phosa, Ramaphosa and Sexwale) were associated with each other, was in 2001 when there were unproven claims by then safety and security minister Steve Tshwete that they were hatching a plot to topple then president Thabo Mbeki.

The claims came with just over a year to go to the party’s 2002 elective congress in Stellenbosch, and although ironic, its unlikely that they have any significance in this particular race.

Save for a backlash (should ANC members take revenge on him for copping out of the top six) Motlanthe is likely to stay on as deputy president of the country until 2014.

It is unclear if Ramaphosa will then step into his place or whether he will broker a deal to take over from Zuma as had been discussed during lobbying and horse-trading. A year-and-a-half can be an eternity in politics.

- City Press

Read more on:    tokyo sexwale  |  thandi modise  |  kgalema motlanthe  |  cyril ramaphosa  |  jacob zuma  |  mathews phosa  |  jessie duarte  |  mangaung 2012  |  politics
NEXT ON NEWS24X

SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
23 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
/News

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Jobs in Western Cape region

General Assistant

Cape Town
Mobile Recruitment
R4 000 - R4 500 Per Month

Construction Cost Clerk

Cape Town Northern Suburbs
Home Decor Interiors
R7 000 - R8 000 Per Month

Maintenance Coordinator - Packaging (Atlantis)

West Coast
West Coast Personnel
R22 000 Per Month

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Magical Massinga

Spend 5 nights at the gorgeous Massinga Beach Lodge in Mozambique and only pay for 4 from R13 220 per person sharing. Includes return flights, accommodation, transfers and romantic turndown. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

20% off ALL TV Series

Choose from 1000’s of the hottest TV Series . While stocks last. Shop now!

Festive gifts!

Check out our awesome range of festive gifts to make everyone’s wishes come true. Shop now!

Seen something you like in our catalogue?

Find the perfect gift and save up to R5000 – As seen on the catalogue. Hurry and shop now!

Save up to R2200 on electronics! – As seen in the catalogue

Wishing for tech gadgets this festive? Save up to R2100 on hot tech products at kalahari.com. While stocks last. Shop now!

Up to 35% off books

Save up to 35% on the latest page-turners. While stocks last. Shop now!

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

Enjoy the view because as from tomorrow you are going to need to come back down to earth and join the party. In the meantime use...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.