Ramaphosa vs Zuma: Battle over white monopoly capital far from over

Johannesburg - The fierce battle over white monopoly capital is set to continue at the ANC policy conference underway at Nasrec, south of Johannesburg.

Supporters of President Jacob Zuma and, by extension, presidential hopeful Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, are disputing the outcome of the commissions as announced by national executive committee (NEC) member Joel Netshitenzhe.

Netshitenzhe said during a media briefing on Tuesday that nine out of the 11 commissions agreed that capital should not be racially defined and it is not the enemy. 

Read: White monopoly capital not the enemy - ANC

"Nine of the 11 commissions felt that the phenomenon of monopoly capital is a global one and manifests itself differently," Netshitenzhe said.

"In that context, it would therefore not be correct to characterise ours simply as white monopoly capital. That relationship would apply whether it’s Japanese, Indian, white or whatever category you can think about," he said. 

But the comments earned him the ire of Zuma and Dlamini-Zuma supporters. It was widely seen as a defeat for the faction.

News24 understands that a delegate noted Netshitenzhe’s comments through tweets by journalists while plenary was underway.

ANC Youth League secretary general Njabulo Nzuza raised the matter, leading to another heated debate on Tuesday night.

The dispute was then referred to the party's steering committee.

News24 understands that a meeting of the steering committee, including secretary-general Gwede Mantashe, met late on Tuesday night to try and resolve the fresh dispute.

Proxy battle

Umkhonto we Sizwe military veterans association Kebby Maphatsoe and North West chairperson Supra Mahumapelo sharply differed with Netshitenzhe.

"Nothing like that in plenary was presented," Maphatsoe told News24. He said the party could not agree on the contentious matter and decided to refer it back to branches instead.

Maphatsoe said in the party, they never use numbers but go with consensus. 

"We are not playing soccer here of goals, we are saying if the majority view is this one we go with the majority view," he said. 

Mahumapelo shared his sentiments.

"The ANC doesn't make decisions on either the minority or majority in commissions, so this thing of saying majority here, minority there is neither here or there."

The policy conference is seen as a proxy battle ahead of the hotly contested presidential race.

The issue of white monopoly capital was part of the strategy and tactics discussion that is raised across all commissions. 

The ANC has been divided along factional lines on the issue of white monopoly capital.

They included Gauteng, Limpopo and Eastern Cape.

A week ahead of the conference, Ramaphosa criticised the use of the phrase white monopoly capital and said it was an invention of a highly paid public relations company to "protect their clients" accused of state capture.

The comment was widely seen as directed at public relations company Bell Pottinger.  

Leaked emails linked to the Gupta family, who are Zuma's close associates, show that the company was responsible for populating the phrase white monopoly capital.

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