Dhlomo shows support for Ramaphosa

2017-10-16 13:45
KZN Health MEC Sbongiseni Dhlomo.

KZN Health MEC Sbongiseni Dhlomo. (Clive Ndou)

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As presidential hopeful Cyril Ramaphosa’s campaign steams ahead in KwaZulu-Natal, the province’s Health MEC Sbongiseni Dhlomo on Sunday became the latest high-profile ANC figure to join the ANC deputy president’s camp.

Dhlomo, who is currently serving in the pro Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma KZN provincial cabinet, stunned many when he pitched up at the Young Communist League (YCL) centenary rally at Durban’s Currie Fountain Stadium where Ramaphosa was the main speaker.

Other ANC bigwigs in attendance included former MECs Mike Mabuyakhulu, Cyril Xulu, Ntombikayise Sibhidla-Saphetha and former eThekwini mayor James Nxumalo.

The Health MEC was one of the ANC leaders who ushered Ramaphosa to the podium when the presidential hopeful arrived at the venue to a rapturous standing ovation from about 10 000 supporters who packed the stadium.

Clad in the Ramaphosa camp’s CR17 branded t-shirts, the crowd waved and broke into song as the ANC presidential candidate arrived at the venue.

Ramaphosa’s supporters did not waste time in expressing their unhappiness about the fact that the ANC’s pro Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma provincial executive committee (PEC) was still in office despite last month’s court judgment that ruled the structure “illegitimate”.

“We want the deputy president to assist us in getting answers on why the PEC is still in office despite the court ruling as well as the ANC national executive committee (NEC) resolution for the PEC to be replaced with a Provincial Task Team (PTT),” Mabuyakhulu said shortly before Ramaphosa took to the podium.

Cosatu’s second deputy president Zingiswa Losi told Ramaphosa that the labour federation had resolved to back him after realising that the gains made by workers since 1994 were being reversed under President Jacob Zuma’s administration.

“For us it was never about whether the next president should be a woman or a man, it was about finding the right person who can take the country forward — and that person is Ramaphosa,” she said, to applause from the crowd.

The ANC in the province is split between the Ramaphosa and Dlamini-Zuma camps.

However, Ramaphosa made it clear to his supporters that the current standoff between the two camps was not good for the party.

“If we go into the national conference divided as we are, then we will have very serious problems. KZN used to be the pride of the ANC. If KZN is divided then the whole ANC will have problems,” he said.

The deputy president urged the two factions in the province to sit down together and try to find a solution around the recent court judgement against the PEC.

“There has to be a give-and-take approach — an approach that says my position is the only correct one will not work, it will not bring about the unity that we are working at achieving,” he said.

Ramaphosa told his supporters that while they had the right to choose a candidate of their choice, they should refrain from insulting other ANC leaders.

The presidential hopeful, who together with Dlamini-Zuma are considered front-runners in the ANC presidential race, then went on to lambast controversial artist Ayanda Mabulu’s recent Dlamini-Zuma artwork.

“It is distasteful and cannot be condoned — all ANC members should criticise it, you must defend ANC leaders when they are being attacked,” he said.

Mabulu’s artwork has gone viral on social media and depicts Dlamini- Zuma­ engaged in sexual activity as Zuma stands with his genitals exposed.

Ramaphosa and Dlamini-Zuma are two of the other seven ANC candidates wanting to succeed Zuma when he steps down as ANC leader at the December conference.

Other candidates include ministers Jeff Hadebe, Lindiwe Sisulu, ANC treasurer-general Zweli Mkhize, former Mpumalanga premier Mathews Phosa and National Assembly Speaker Baleka Mbete.

Read more on:    pietermaritzburg

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