Ramaphosa will take SA to the next level - Eastern Cape ANC chair

2017-12-15 17:48
Oscar Mabuyane. (Ziyanda Zweni)

Oscar Mabuyane. (Ziyanda Zweni)

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Johannesburg - Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa is the logical choice to succeed President Jacob Zuma as African National Congress president, the Eastern Cape ANC chairperson says.

News24 sat down with Eastern Cape leader Oscar Mabuyane ahead of the ANC's 54th national conference in Johannesburg, due to start on Saturday.

His province formally endorsed Ramaphosa's candidacy for president at its provincial general council two weeks ago, and he said they were here to "deliver" on that.

"It's not just for us, it's for South Africa. Where I'm sitting here, traditional leaders, church leaders, everyone in the Eastern Cape is saying [it must be Ramaphosa].

"But we'll be ready to accept the outcome of this conference and be ready to rally around any leader."

He admitted that the other frontrunner, Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, was a distinguished leader, and they could not find fault with her candidacy.

"But from a principal point of view, the deputy president must be able to take us to another level."

'Unnecessary tension'

Mabuyane said talks of unity within the party were useful, but that they also could not nullify Ramaphosa's claim to be the next president.

"Even if you talk about unity, you cannot talk about abstract things, when you have a deputy president... with a strong record, and then behave as if he is not there. That would be a terrible precedent."

He said the real question around unity was how to ensure delegates did not approach the situation looking to create enemies.

"[We must not] be polemic and really agitate for discontent. You create an unnecessary tension in the ANC. Issues of factionalism are real and are there.

"But we have arrived at our conference, following our own internal processes."

If the party followed its own processes to the letter, it would stand the test of time, he said. "But if you go for shortcuts, you will experience problems."

'No evidence' of vote buying

Mabuyane said that, whoever wins between Ramaphosa or Dlamini-Zuma, they would need to create a conducive environment for unity and good governance.

"If we don't do that, we are creating a conducive environment for a certain clique of friends, a group of people.

"The ANC is not about that, it is an asset in South Africa, a movement of our people. It doesn't belong to us or individual members, it belongs to the people."

He admitted that the ANC had become arrogant, and needed to go back to "inspiring" before it "expires".

"All these other things are very unfortunate, and probably tells that somehow, we are derailed."

Mabuyane said the issue of rumoured vote-buying and irregularities had been "blown out of proportion".

"From where I'm seated, I have not heard that in a reliable [manner], other than the perceptions that have been created."

For more on the elective conference, visit our special report page #ANCVotes 

Read more on:    anc  |  nko­sazana dlamini-zuma  |  cyril rama­phosa  |  anc leadership race  |  anc votes

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