Sisulu denies leadership ambitions

2012-03-20 17:27

Defence minister and ANC national executive committee member Lindiwe Sisulu has dismissed speculation that she is eyeing one of the top six positions in the ANC.

A newspaper report at the weekend linked her to a faction which is allegedly led by President Jacob Zuma and businessman Cyril Ramaphosa, vying for leadership ahead of the ANC elective conference in Mangaung in December.

A text message doing the rounds says Sisulu is on the Zuma slate for the position of deputy secretary-general, which is currently occupied by North West Premier Thandi Modise.

This afternoon, Sisulu distanced herself from the rumours, saying they were “devoid of truth” and were aimed at tarnishing her image and that of the ANC.

“The ANC is of a firm belief that in order to bring some credibility to the reports, the implicated media had to bring Comrade Sisulu’s name to the story without any factual base and justification,” said ANC spokesperson Keith Khoza in a statement issued on Sisulu’s behalf.

It is the first time since the succession rumours started that an ANC leader has distanced themselves from speculation that they are harbouring leadership ambitions. Motlanthe is rumoured to be eyeing Zuma’s position but he has been mum on the speculation.

The ANC has put a gag on succession debates.

The statement said Sisulu was aware of the party’s rules regarding leadership succession.

“First, Cde Sisulu confirms that she has not been approached or lobbied for any ANC position by any structure or branch of the ANC.

“Second, as a disciplined member of the ANC, she has no intention to entertain or encourage practices that are foreign to the ANC, its principles and traditions, such as the promotion of factionalism and activities that seem to undermine the proper functioning of the ANC,” said Khoza.

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