ANC ‘top six’ list on web

2012-09-21 00:00

BUSINESSMAN Cyril Ramaphosa has emerged as KwaZulu-Natal’s surprise candidate of choice to become the ANC’s deputy president at its upcoming Mangaung conference.

And fired police commissioner Bheki Cele has been touted to join the party’s national executive committee (NEC).

The Witness has learnt from reliable sources that a list with Ramaphosa’s name, purportedly drawn up at provincial level, was circulated at the Cadres Forum held at the ANC’s Moses Mabhida (Pietermaritzburg) region offices on Wednesday night. This raised the ire of several members, who said the nomination process was only to be opened in October.

The meeting was addressed by ANC KZN deputy chairperson Willies Mchunu.

Mchunu could not be reached for comment, but an ANC member who was at the meeting, and who would not be named, said that events at the meeting had been “misunderstood”. “Comrade Willies is one of the most upright people in the ANC. He follows the rules and will never discuss leadership when specif-ically told not to,” said the source.

ANC Moses Mabhida chairperson Alpha Shelembe denied that nominations were discussed.

“We discussed names to refresh branch members’ memories of who is currently in the NEC because they are not familiar with some of the comrades who are serving in the NEC. When we hold our nomination meetings, we will know who we are talking about,” he said.

However, some ANC members remained unhappy and are convinced that the proceedings constituted a discussion of preferred candidates.

Although Ramaphosa is not from KZN, insiders said he is seen as someone with a good track record in both politics and business.

An ANC branch chairperson, Mhlengi Khumalo, is believed to have posted the list of names discussed on a social networking website after the meeting.

Sources said names were punted for the national “top six” as well as those from KZN who should be retained in the NEC.

The list is said to have proposed the re-election of Jacob Zuma as president, with Ramaphosa as his deputy, Gwede Mantashe as secretary-general, Jesse Duarte as deputy secretary-general, KZN Premier Zweli Mkhize as treasurer and Baleka Mbethe as national chairperson.

Cele has been included on the list to be an NEC member.

KZN ANC spokesperson Senzo Mkhize denied lists had been discussed. He said cadre forums existed to discuss leadership through guidelines set by the province.

“The guidelines compel branches to conduct an assessment of the current leaders, individually and as a collective. The NEC did not propose any names and will not do so.”

Mkhize said branches would meet next month to discuss who to nominate for leadership positions. He added the party was aware of Khumalo’s post on the Internet and felt he had misunderstood the proceedings.

Khumalo could not be reached for comment.


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