Zuma win brings blend of happiness, cynicism

2012-12-18 22:01
(Picture: AFP)

(Picture: AFP)

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Johannesburg - A blend of happiness and cynicism greeted Jacob Zuma's re-election as ANC president at the party's national conference in Mangaung on Tuesday.

Brand SA, which was previously known as the International Marketing Council of SA, said Zuma's re-election boded well for the country's future.

"It creates a better sense of certainty and continuity," said chairperson Chichi Maponya in a statement.

While Zuma retained his position as ANC president, businessman Cyril Ramaphosa scooped the second top seat as his deputy. Gwede Mantashe retained his post as secretary general, and Jessie Duarte was voted deputy secretary-general. Baleka Mbete remained in the national chairperson post, while Zweli Mkhize was elected treasurer-general.

"It is also pleasing to see... Ramaphosa, who as Zuma's deputy will help solidify the ANC presidency and improve investor and local business confidence."

Maponya was pleased that the conference was largely peaceful and orderly, and believed this was a sign of a maturing democracy.

The ANC Youth League congratulated the new office bearers and thanked delegates for voting in "a disciplined and committed manner".

It called for "radical policies" from the conference, saying young people were tired of promises.

The Eastern Cape ANC branch was happy that members it had nominated provincially had made it onto the national top six.

"The focus now is to ensure that the Eastern Cape has a strong representation in the national executive committee..."

Business Unity SA welcomed the return of old office-bearers, and the introduction of new faces.

"We singularly embrace the mix of continuity and introduction of new and fresh leadership, which we hope will underscore the injection of new ideas as well as the continuance of existing country programs."

The organisation called on the new leaders to make speedy progress in improving investment confidence, fighting corruption and helping the poor and jobless.

"The time is now to get down to work, rebuild and reclaim lost ground as a matter of urgency," it said.

Disintegration

Democratic Alliance leader Helen Zille said the election results would hasten the disintegration and collapse of the ruling party.

"Many ANC members and many more ANC voters are feeling alienated by today's decision in Mangaung."

She believed it was a sad day for South Africa because Zuma's re-election sent out a message that the African National Congress was a movement that put "powerful people" above the law.

Zille was referring to Zuma's previous legal battle against corruption allegations, resulting from the fraud conviction of his former financial advisor Schabir Shaik.

In April 2009, the National Prosecuting Authority dropped the charges against Zuma, just months before he was elected to the country's top post.

In response to her comments, the ANC said "remarks made by DA leader, Helen Zille, about the re-election of Cde President Jacob Zuma are nothing but political jealousy inspired by malicious desperation to have the same support enjoyed by the ANC in this country

"The nature of remarks in her statement exposes Zille’s personal hatred of the ANC in her clumsy attempt to clamber the media attention given to the ANC Conference,"party spokesperson Jackson Mthembu said in a statement.

The Freedom Front Plus said if the top six failed to overcome apparent divisions in the party, the election would mark the beginning of the end for the ANC.

"The brutality of the past couple of month's leadership struggle in the ANC has left huge political wounds and illustrated the huge division within the ANC," FF Plus leader Pieter Mulder said in a statement.

Motlanthe's failure to win the top seat meant the ANC had "in a very cruel manner... sent him into the political wilderness", said Mulder.

In Mangaung, Zuma supporters sang struggle songs and waved posters after the results were announced.

While messages of support were delivered in the main marquee, Zuma's supporters continued to celebrate outside.

"We are happy that he retained his position. There were people who were snakes in the leadership and went about saying things against the leadership of the ANC," said Sipho Nkosi of Ophongolo, in KwaZulu-Natal.

Jessica Ramoroko, 35, of Moretele in North West, was also ecstatic. She said Zuma understood the needs of the people and was humble.

"I'm so happy," she said.

- SAPA

Read more on:    da  |  brand sa  |  ff plus  |  anc  |  ancyl  |  zweli mkhize  |  jessie duarte  |  helen zille  |  jacob zuma  |  baleka mbete  |  gwede mantashe  |  pieter mulder  |  cyril ramaphosa  |  mangaung 2012  |  politics
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