Ralph Mathekga

Will Mabuza accidentally deliver on his promise of unity?

2017-12-17 20:34
David Mabuza, premier of Mpumalanga, has campaigned for the ANC deputy presidency as a "unity" candidate. (Photo: Gallo)

David Mabuza, premier of Mpumalanga, has campaigned for the ANC deputy presidency as a "unity" candidate. (Photo: Gallo)

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As the ANC’s elective conference enters its third day, it is becoming clear that the voting process could produce a picture that was not anticipated. 

During the nomination process of the positions of the top 6 national office bearers of the ANC, pleas that candidates should withdraw so that the election is uncontested were shot down without much consideration. Branch delegations are hell-bent on voting along the slates, and deliver on the mandate of the branches.

The finalisation of the nominations for the top 6, however, shows that while branch members are committed to slates, there is a possibility that the delegations could vote in a way that unintentionally produces some form of unity on positions below that of the deputy president.

Further, there are certain candidates who might be able to gain votes from both slates.

The nominations for the position of treasurer-general are interesting; the candidates are Paul Mashatile and Maite Nkoana-Mashabane. This shows that the candidate who will be elected to this position would have enjoyed support from both slates, if the nominations are anything to go by.

Mashatile, who is on Ramaphosa’s slate, has received an overwhelming nomination for the position. The extent of the support that Mashatile has attained means he could not have only received nominations from Ramaphosa’s slates; he seems to have gained good support from Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma’s slate as well after Mpumalanga’s David Mabuza intimated that he would prefer to work in the top 6 alongside Mashatile.

Mabuza’s idea was never really entertained by the Gauteng province, where he originally comes from. Could it be that Mabuza is able to partially deliver on his ‘unity’ project by ensuring that one of the provinces that is understood to support Ramaphosa is afforded a place in the top 6?

Looking at the numbers, the fact that there is now a very real possibility that he might serve as deputy president under Ramaphosa, the likelihood of Gwede Mantashe (in Ramaphosa’s camp) becoming chairperson, and Jessie Duarte (an NDZ supporter) staying on as deputy secretary general, Mabuza may have accidentally created an ‘unity’ top 6 by securing Mashatile’s position as treasure-general.

- Ralph Mathekga is a Fellow at the SARChI Chair: African Diplomacy and Foreign Policy at the University of Johannesburg and author of When Zuma Goes. 

Disclaimer: News24 encourages freedom of speech and the expression of diverse views. The views of columnists published on News24 are therefore their own and do not necessarily represent the views of News24.       

Read more on:    anc  |  anc elective conference


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