Zuma vs Malema: warring provinces

2011-10-08 15:38

The battle lines have been drawn in provinces as President Jacob Zuma and ANC Youth League leader Julius Malema drum up support ahead of next year’s Mangaung conference. Both are counting on the backing of their home provinces. Cedric Mboyisa, Sabelo Ndlangisa and Piet Rampedi weigh up relative strengths in the battle for the provinces

Gauteng is a small, wildcard province but under the leadership of Paul Mashatile it wants an open contest at Mangaung.

The Sunday Times reported last week that the province had thrown its weight behind Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe.

As the province’s handling of the 2007 leadership tussle between former party president Thabo Mbeki and incumbent president Jacob Zuma showed, the provincial leadership tends to sit on the fence until the very last minute.

In numerical heft Gauteng is small – it will count for just one in 12 votes at Mangaung. But it is the country’s powerhouse and home to the cream of its talent.

It is a contested province but Mashatile has the support of the leaders of all five regions in the province.

He is a man of high aspirations and reports suggest he wants to become ANC chairperson.

That’s not true, says provincial secretary David Makhura.

“There hasn’t been a discussion of leadership in the province,” he says.

“If that were to come, it wouldn’t be from him. It would come from the structures.”

The rise of “Zuluness” has been palpable in politics since 2007, when Zuma became ANC president and the party’s centre began moving from Eastern Cape to KwaZulu-Natal.

And the province is not about to give up power after a single term – which explains why the disbanded KwaZulu-Natal provincial executive committee of the ANC Youth League is rebelling against Malema’s head office.

Malema’s ally, Floyd Shivambu, has led the campaign to disband the provincial executive committee and the caretaker provincial task team is packed with Malema cronies.

Detractors say the disbanded provincial executive committee was using tribalism to alienate people who are anti-Zuma.

But a KwaZulu-Natal South Coast leader said: “They (Malema and his allies) are fighting a losing battle in KwaZulu-Natal.

They must go try other provinces. They are blowing the Zulu-gevaar horn, creating an impression that the province is using tribalism as a lobbying tool.

“The politics of Zuluness (sic) has never been a factor in the ANC. The league won’t succeed in dividing the province.”

KwaZulu-Natal, Zuma’s home ground, is the ANC’s biggest province in terms of membership figures. It boasts a membership of 240 000 out of 933 672 ANC members nationally.

This constitutes 26% of the national membership. The province will send the highest number of voting delegates to Mangaung.

Zuma appears to have lost control of the ANC in Malema’s home province.

When Malema gave a speech at the University of Limpopo this week the crowd booed whenever he mentioned the president’s name.

And two months ago Limpopo Premier Cassel Mathale and the league’s provincial secretary, Jacob Lebogo, publicly declared the Limpopo ANC’s support for nationalisation despite the fact that it is not ANC policy.

Mathale and Lebogo are still firmly in control of the ruling party and the league in the province.

The provincial leadership also recently refused to heed a call by ANC top brass to discipline league members who had marched on Luthuli House in support of Malema at his disciplinary hearing there.

The buses that ferried league members to Luthuli House were organised by Lebogo.

City Press also reported in August that Mathale, provincial ANC spokesperson David Masondo and Capricorn district mayor Lawrence Mapoulo had attended a youth league emergency meeting where a decision to revolt against Zuma was taken.

But Zuma can still count on allies from Limpopo such as International Relations Minister Maite Nkoana-Mashabane, Health Minister Aaron Motsoaledi, Public Service and Administration Minister Richard Baloyi, NEC member Thaba Mufamadi and one of the ministers in the Presidency, Collins Chabane.

They still wield enormous influence among ANC members in the province.

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

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
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


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.


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.