KZN branches which backed Ramaphosa showed maturity – Bheki Cele

2017-12-13 16:52
Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa. (Leon Sadiki, City Press)

Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa. (Leon Sadiki, City Press)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Johannesburg – ANC National Executive Committee member Bheki Cele says the fact that almost 200 branches in KwaZulu-Natal nominated Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa for the party's next president shows maturity beyond tribal lines.

Cele made the comments during an interview with News24 to discuss his thoughts on the ANC’s national elective conference, which kicks off on Saturday.

Ramaphosa and Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma are the frontrunners in the race to replace President Jacob Zuma as head of the ANC.

Dlamini-Zuma has received 454 nominations, while Ramaphosa got 19, a figure which surprised some who had expected the deputy president not to garner any support in the ANC’s biggest province.

Read more: A day by day guide through the ANC conference

"There were people who approached me to say, why are you supporting a Venda when you are Zulu," said Cele.

The agriculture and forestry deputy minister said a call made in 1912, when the ANC was born, for different tribes to work together clearly resonated with some in his home province.

"I think they are showing maturity, the people of KZN saying the ANC is for South Africans, not for a certain tribe. They are making their choices to say everyone is capable to lead in the ANC going forward," Cele said.

He said, in his eThekwini region, people had risen above threats and attempts to supress their wishes to nominate Ramaphosa, and do what they believed was good for the ANC.

Unprecedented number of legal threats

Cele said legal challenges were a new trend in the party. The ANC has seen a record number of cases related to its branch general meetings and processes leading up to the elective congress – which has impacted several provinces, including the Eastern Cape, KwaZulu-Natal, North West and the Free State.

"We have never gone to an ANC conference with such legal threats. We would go there and think who would be president, who would be in the NEC, and about policies," said Cele.

He said he did not believe the conference itself would collapse, comparing the current divisions to those in the party during its 52nd national conference, which took place in Polokwane. Cele said, if that conference did not fall apart, he couldn't see how this year's one would.

"I don’t see it collapsing, unless someone goes to court and says, interdict the conference."

Cele said he believed that outgoing ANC secretary general Gwede Mantashe had done everything in accordance with the ANC’s rules and constitution.

"Those that have the mind of collapsing the conference can put around those things. At no time have we gone to a conference with the perfect act," he said.

Visit our special report, #ANCVotes, for all the news, analysis and opinions about the ANC’s national elective conference.

Read more on:    cyril ­ramaphosa  |  durban  |  anc leadership race  |  anc votes

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.