Two deputy presidents the remedy for factionalism - Zuma

2017-07-05 16:25
President Jacob Zuma during his closing speech. (Gianluigi Guercia, AFP)

President Jacob Zuma during his closing speech. (Gianluigi Guercia, AFP)

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Johannesburg - President Jacob Zuma has agreed with a KwaZulu-Natal proposal that the loser of the elective conference in December should take the deputy president role.

"This is a remedy to kill factions in the ANC. These are proposals to take to the branches. Even if we don't apply it in the conference in December, we apply it in the conference thereafter. I have no problem."

Zuma was speaking during his closing address at the ANC's policy conference at the Nasrec Expo Centre, south of Johannesburg, on Wednesday.

Zuma said there was a need to eliminate factions in the organisation.

He said the constitution of the ANC needed to be amended to include this proposal.

Also read: Divisions over ANC leadership race deepen

Zuma's proposal was met with loud cheers by delegates.

However, when he suggested that the candidate who was a preferred deputy president for the winning slate needed to be the second deputy president, a number of delegates gasped in surprise.

"When one does not win, let us not get rid of the one who did not win. Let us take the one who came second and make them the deputy so that they can work together. All the comrades will have won."

The party’s biggest province, KwaZulu-Natal, made the proposal in an attempt to end the slate politics that has fractured the party, leading to splinter groups. The Eastern Cape's Oscar Mabuyane said the suggestion was fair and would help eliminate slates. 

The ANC Youth League, which has been loyal to Zuma, and by extension Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, rejected this call earlier, it told News24. 

'Branches should consider this proposal'

The ANCYL said the political arrangement would reduce the ANC to a "chieftainship" and would be a violation of the party’s constitution that says every position must be contested, ANCYL president Collen Maine told News24.

The ANCYL has nominated Dlamini-Zuma for president, with Mpumalanga chairperson David Mabuza as deputy.

The Northern Cape labelled the proposal as "excitement" over succession talks.

The Northern Cape, which pronounced on presidential hopeful Cyril Ramaphosa, said ANC branches would nominate who they wanted for leadership, and would go to conference to elect them.

"You will be eroding the very essence of democratic contestation of ANC leadership," Northern Cape chairperson Zamani Saul said.

Saul said the proposal would take away the powers of the branches to decide who should lead the party, and that leaders were appropriating the right to choose ANC leadership.

Zuma said the party could have permanent factions if it was to take the country forward.

"You can have denialism about it, but it's reality. I can go province to province to motivate for this proposal. Branches should consider this proposal," he said.

Read more on:    anc  |  jacob zuma  |  johannesburg  |  politics  |  anc policy  |  ancpolicy17

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