KZN’s ANC women stand by Zuma

2012-11-12 00:00

THE KZN ANC Women’s League (ANCWL) is to stand by its man and has nominated President Jacob Zuma for a second term of office.

Similarly there were no surprises in the provincial league’s choice of top six leaders.

The list was short on gender representation and reflects the slate of leaders expected to emerge as the final choice of the KZN ANC going to the party’s elective conference in Mangaung during December.

At a press conference during the league’s provincial nomination conference at the Winston Churchill Theatre yesterday, the top six nominated were:

• Zuma for president;

• Cyril Ramaphosa, deputy president;

• Baleka Mbete to be re-elected national chairperson;

• Gwede Mantashe, to be re-elected secretary-general;

• Jessie Duarte, deputy secretary-general; and

• KZN Premier Zweli Mkhize for treasurer.

Asked about the shortage of women in the top six choice, provincial chairperson Celiwe Madlopha said they went for continuity with some new blood.

Deputy secretary Weziwe Thusi said they had not completed the nomination process and by the time they finished nominating all 80 National Executive Committee (NEC) members, there would be 50/50 representation of men and women.

Duarte has been chosen to replace Thandi Modise, who is widely seen to be in the anti-Zuma camp. Madlopha said in the discussions during the nomination process the sentiment was that Modise “has done a wonderful job” but members felt she would be stretched as the deputy secretary-general was a full- time position. They wanted her to focus on running the North-West province. Madlopha denied that the provincial league’s choice represented a slate.

She pointed to Duarte, who she said was the league’s choice both because she was a woman and because she reflected that the ANC was a non-racial organisation.

“Jessie has been in the movement and was in the NEC during President [Nelson] Mandela’s term of office. She was not in government but she continued to work for the ANC. We need leaders like her who are loyal to the movement and not there to gain positions in government,” Madlopha said.

She said Ramaphosa represented a younger generation of leaders and new blood, which was why they chose him above current incumbent Kgalema Motlanthe.

The anti-Zuma campaign has listed Motlanthe as its choice for president. He has so far declined to say whether he will stand and has criticised the use of slates, saying branches must feel free to choose who they want as leaders.

Madlopha did not believe nominating Mkhize to the national leadership would rob KZN of its top leader. She said the ANC in the province had a pool of quality leaders to choose from and that Mkhize could take to the national leadership his history of running finances and fund-raising. “If his skills can grow the ANC will grow. The work he is doing must be shared,” she said.

The ANCWL nationally will be allowed to take 45 voting delegates to the elective conference in Mangaung. Madlopha said they expected to know who from KZN will be part of the delegation after the party’s nomination process closed on November 26.

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