Mandela vs Ramaphosa: Whose list is better?

2019-05-20 09:47
CAPE TOWN, SOUTH AFRICA - May 1994: Newly inaugurated president, Nelson Mandela with his two vice presidents, Thabo Mbeki and F.W. de Klerk at the opening of the first democratically elected parliament. (Photo by Gallo Images/Rodger Bosch)

CAPE TOWN, SOUTH AFRICA - May 1994: Newly inaugurated president, Nelson Mandela with his two vice presidents, Thabo Mbeki and F.W. de Klerk at the opening of the first democratically elected parliament. (Photo by Gallo Images/Rodger Bosch)

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The ANC's top decision-making structure, the national executive committee, will be meeting today to finalise preparations for the first sitting of the National Assembly on Wednesday when its MPs will be sworn in and the president elected.

This will happen 25 years after the party first entered the legislature after the elections of April 27, 1994, when Nelson Mandela – the presumptive president – led his caucus into the NA chamber for the first time.

Cyril Ramaphosa’s caucus will be vastly different to the one led by Mandela, with the former having to contend with a range of public representatives whose fitness to hold elected office is being questioned by the party’s integrity committee. Mandela, on the other hand, even though almost nobody had experience in governance and public affairs, could call on some formidable intellects and principled activists.

The top 10 on the ANC's national list in 2019:

1.       Cyril Ramaphosa

2.       David Mabuza

3.       Gwede Mantashe

4.       Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma

5.       Ronald Lamola

6.       Fikile Mbalula

7.       Lindiwe Sisulu

8.       Zweli Mkhize

9.       Bheki Cele

10.     Nomvula Mokonyane

Of those candidates, at least six are controversial in some way or another.

-         Mabuza's Mpumalanga is considered one of the most corrupt provinces in the country (and he was a gun for hire at the ANC's Nasrec conference, switching allegiance at the last moment to Ramaphosa).

-         Mantashe is caught in the Bosasa web.

-         Dlamini-Zuma was the anti-reformist and pro-capture vehicle ahead of Nasrec.

-         Mbalula was a Zuma praise-singer.

-         Sisulu has seemingly thrown her weight in with Ace Magashule.

-         Cele was fired as police commissioner after a Public Protector investigation into dodgy dealings with police contracts.

-         Mokonyane has been accused of corruption during her tenure as minister of water affairs and sanitation and was a central figure in revelations around Bosasa.


The top 10 candidates on the ANC's national list in 1994:

1.       Nelson Mandela

2.       Cyril Ramaphosa

3.       Thabo Mbeki

4.       Joe Slovo

5.       Pallo Jordan

6.       Jay Naidoo

7.       Ahmed Kathrada

8.       Ronnie Kasrils

9.       Sidney Mufamadi

10.     Albertina Sisulu

Among these names there are three future heads of state, a host of Robben Island prisoners and Rivonia trialists as well as white and Indian candidates. Comparing candidates in position 10 makes for interesting reading.

Ramaphosa's list from 11 to 20:

11.   Naledi Pandor

12.   Thoko Didiza

13.   Senzo Mchunu

14.   Bathabile Dlamini

15.   Blade Nzimande

16.   Nathi Mthethwa

17.   Angie Motshekga

18.   Lindiwe Zulu

19.   David Masondo

20.   Thandi Modise

In positions 11, 12 and 17 Ramaphosa has experienced and proven technocrats, but the quality of the group is scuppered by the candidate in position 14, who has been a wrecking ball wherever she has gone.

Compare this with Mandela's second cohort of candidates:

11.   Thozamile Botha

12.   Steve Tshwete

13.   Bantu Holomisa

14.   Jeff Radebe

15.   Dullah Omar

16.   Popo Molefe

17.   Mac Maharaj

18.   Moses Mayekiso

19.   Chris Dlamini

20.   Trevor Manuel

There are some political considerations and pandering to factions, but still a strong group of candidates, with racial representation still a hallmark of the list process in 1994, something that seems to be largely absent in 2019.

1994. President Nelson Mandela. Addresses members

The next group on the 2019 list:

21.   Joe Maswanganyi

22.   Tito Mboweni

23.   Malusi Gigaba

24.   Jackson Mthembu

25.   Aaron Motsoaledi

26.   Buti Manamela

27.   Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams

28.   David Mahlobo

29.   Dipuo Letsatsi-Duba

30.   Tokozile Xasa

This group contains two of the most senior and active enablers of state capture and proponents of the years of depravity under Jacob Zuma – Gigaba and Mahlobo – which sends its credibility up in flames. Mthembu, chief whip for the bigger part of the Zuma years, is in the reformists' camp (as is the candidate at no 22).

Mandela's next group:

21.   Zola Skweyiya

22.   Gertrude Shope

23.   Kader Asmal

24.   Joe Modise

25.   Makhenkesi Stofile

26.   Valli Moosa

27.   Peter Mokaba

28.   John Nkadimeng

29.   Essop Pahad

30.   Raymond Suttner

Skweyiya was one of the ANC's towering moral figures, who did an admirable job as minister of social development in Mbeki's presidency. Asmal attempted to reform the country's education system (to mixed reviews) while Modise became a kingpin in the corruption around the arms deal.

Two different caucuses in two different eras, but from the same party.

The difference in quality is vast.

Mandela was able to choose a (largely) uncorrupted, representative and competent executive. Ramaphosa does not have that luxury.

Other notable names on Mandela's list included:

31. Winnie Mandela

32. Tito Mboweni

34. Baleka Mbete

35. Blade Nzimande

49. Thandi Modise

51. Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma

52. Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula

56. Marcel Golding

57. Pravin Gordhan

58. Max Sisulu

60. Tony Yengeni

73. Barbara Hogan

77. Nozizwe Madlala-Routledge

79. Jannie Momberg

83. Derek Hanekom 

85. Melanie Verwoerd

95. Lindiwe Sisulu

117. Thabang Makwetla

118. Manto Tshabalala-Msimang

124. Girlie Pikoli

130. Wally Serote

133. Bulelani Ngcuka

135. Willie Hofmeyr

139. Aaron Motsoaledi

145. Jackie Selebi

On the regional lists:


11. Bathabile Dlamini

22. Yunus Shaik

North West

15. Patrice Motsepe


1. Carl Niehaus

21. Andries Nel

Western Cape

2. Naledi Pandor

Read more on:    nelson mandela  |  ramaphosa  |  bathabile dlamini  |  albertina sisulu  |  cyril  |  thabo mbeki  |  nomvula mokon­yane  |  parliament

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