Zuma thrown a political lifeline

2012-10-04 08:07
President Jacob Zuma (File, Beeld)

President Jacob Zuma (File, Beeld)

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

Johannesburg - Shifts in ANC membership within the provinces have given President Jacob Zuma a fighting chance of holding on to the party leadership and the presidency.

The number of ANC members in KwaZulu-Natal might seem like a detail only of interest to South African political scientists.

In fact, the number may well be decisive in helping Zuma remain in charge of Africa's most powerful nation.

This December, 4 500 ANC delegates will gather in Mangaung to elect a party leader for the next five years.

Five years after ousting president Thabo Mbeki in an act of political regicide at the last ANC electoral conference, Zuma could face the same fate in December.

Motlanthe more popular

Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe is widely tipped as one possible challenger. He could announce his candidacy as soon as this week.

According to a recent TNS poll Motlanthe has a 51% approval rating to Zuma's 48%.

But as the race gets underway, the ANC announced on Wednesday that a surprising 36% rise in membership in KwaZulu-Natal means at least 974 of the 4 500 conference delegates will come from Zuma's home province.

It is by far the biggest representation of any province.

For an incumbent whose administration has been marred by rolling strikes, high unemployment and social unrest, that is nothing short of a godsend.

In the race for 2 250-plus ANC delegates, every vote will count, according to Mari Harris, managing executive at local pollsters Ipsos Markinor.

A complex mix of loyalty, personal advancement and ideology, as well as regional and tribal politics, will all play a role in corralling delegates.

Eastern Cape to back Motlanthe - expert

Harris predicts that the largely rural Eastern Cape, home to Nelson Mandela and long the heartland of the ANC, will back Motlanthe.

Although the dominant tribe in the Eastern Cape is Xhosa, members are more likely to go for Tswana-speaking Motlanthe, than Zuma, who is a Zulu.

"The Xhosa don't have a candidate," said Harris.

She also predicts that Gauteng will favour Motlanthe.
Indeed, ANC rising star, Gauteng province chairperson and culture minister Paul Mashatile has already said the "ANC must change this year," while calling for a "renewal of leadership".

Together, Gauteng and the Eastern Cape account for 1 176 delegates. By striking the right pacts Motlanthe could significantly increase that total.

The youth league

His recent courting of ousted party firebrand Julius Malema appeared to have paid off on Wednesday when the ANC's Youth League, which still backs Malema, called for a "radical and urgent change" within the party and backed Motlanthe as leader.

With only 45 delegates, the youth league is unlikely to tip the balance of the leadership contest - but it could prove a thorn in Zuma's side.

Malema could help deliver some or all of the 574 delegates in his home province of Limpopo.

It is against this backdrop then that KwaZulu-Natal's increase from 608 votes in 2007 to 974 today may prove crucial for Zuma.

"At this stage I think he will still carry the vote, with a small majority," said Harris. "But everything can change."
Read more on:    anc  |  ancyl  |  jacob zuma  |  julius malema  |  kgalema motlanthe  |  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
138 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
/Motoring
 

Thirty and still single? There’s hope!

Are you thirty and still single, without even a hint of a prospect on the horizon? Then read this!

 
 

Men24.com

SA’s Playboy Playmate of the year in action!
12 lies everyone accepts as fact
Hottie of the day: Charlotte
Breakup text goes viral and it’s hilarious!

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

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

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!

Good Morning, Mr Mandela by Zelda la Grange

Good Morning, Mr Mandela tells the extraordinary story of how a young woman had her life, beliefs, prejudices and everything she once believed in utterly transformed by the greatest man of her time. Now R221. Pre-order 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

It may be hard to stay cool, calm and collected. Your emotions can get quite heated in the moment. You may benefit from finding a...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.