Gigaba gets nod for top six

2012-10-20 18:53

Former ANC Youth League leader Malusi Gigaba’s name has been put forward by branches in at least four provinces as a candidate for the party’s top six leadership.

Although his lobbyists agree Gigaba is a youthful and experienced leader, they cannot agree which position to nominate him for.

City Press has spoken to six ANC branch and regional leaders in Malusi Gigaba and in the Youth League who claimed Gigaba had been nominated by branches in their provinces.

So far more than 30 branches in various provinces have nominated Gigaba for a spot on the top six.

The leaders all refused to be named because they said they did not want to be seen as supporting individuals.

Some said they wanted to see ­Gigaba become deputy president if incumbent Kgalema Motlanthe challenged President Jacob Zuma for the top spot.

But most want him to become deputy secretary-general and step up to secretary-general or president at the ANC’s next congress in 2017.

Gigaba is associated with ­Zuma’s campaign for a second term, but he also has backing from the Motlanthe camp.

Lobbyists say Gigaba is the ideal candidate to rise on the youth ticket as Sports Minister Fikile Mbalula’s campaign is flagging.

City Press last week reported that Mbalula’s campaign was on the skids because he had only been punted for nomination by Limpopo and youth league leaders.

Lobbyists have drawn comparisons between Gigaba and ­Mbalula, saying Gigaba was more “disciplined”.

A league leader said: “We don’t want leaders who stand on platforms saying ‘I don’t agree (with other ANC leaders)’.”

He added that Gigaba was “from a generation in the ANC Youth League that understands unity”.

An Eastern Cape lobbyist said Gigaba represented the “rational centre. As much as the president (Zuma) is coming back for a second term, we have to bring new thinking into the top six.”

An unsigned document circulated by Gigaba’s lobbyists this week said he was a good candidate ­because:

» He served three terms as youth league president;

» Displays a “clear grasp of ­political issues”;

» Has had the “privilege of serving under presidents Mandela and Mbeki at Luthuli House”;

» Has been in government ­longer than any past presidents of the youth league; and

» Possesses “a combination of skills, expertise, qualification and personal attributes that the ANC requires in fully ushering in the agenda of a developmental state”.

Gigaba refused to comment.

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