Should it be CR or NDZ? What ANC leaders say

2017-12-10 00:43
Water and Sanitation Minister Nomvula Mokonyane. Picture: Lindile Mbontsi

Water and Sanitation Minister Nomvula Mokonyane. Picture: Lindile Mbontsi

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ANC leaders have come out swinging for their preferred presidential candidates. City Press speaks to minister Nomvula Mokonyane and deputy minister Bheki Cele.

I don't trust Ramaphosa

Water Affairs Minister Nomvula Mokonyane has criticised ANC presidential hopeful Cyril Ramaphosa for being two-faced towards President Jacob Zuma and warns that there is “danger” about him.

“I sit with them [Ramaphosa and Zuma] in the national executive committee (NEC), national working committee (NWC) and Cabinet and you see them laughing and sharing sweets from the president. The president is like Father Christmas, he always carries sweets and they laugh. Sometimes they disrupt our discussions in the NEC, NWC and in Cabinet, kanti [meanwhile] you laugh like that, but deep down in your heart you are saying ‘you damn rapist’,” Mokonyane told City Press.

The tongue lashing followed Ramaphosa’s saying this week that he believes Fezekile Ntsukela Kuzwayo’s claims that Zuma raped her.

This week, Mokonyane received a surprise nomination for the position of ANC treasurer-general from KwaZulu-Natal on the Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma slate.

Mokonyane avoided speaking about her nomination, saying she would wait until the elective conference next weekend, when the party’s electoral commission will ask her if she will accept it.

“I am humbled by what the branches have said in KwaZulu-Natal, where I was deployed, but also the few numbers I got in Gauteng, the Free State and North West.”

With six days to go before the ANC elects Zuma’s successor, supporters for Dlamini-Zuma and Ramaphosa have come out swinging.

She criticised Ramaphosa for not being more vocal during Zuma’s rape trial. He had more freedom to speak out then.

“I couldn’t believe that we can have a leader of that nature. Why did he remain quiet? At that time [the rape trial] it was better because he was a businessman. He walked away when he was not elected deputy president by president Nelson Mandela.

“He walked away and now he says all these things and, by the way, fighting a man who he knows is leaving.”

She said she would remain in the ANC even if her preferred candidate, Dlamini-Zuma, did not emerge victorious.

“It will be the will of the ANC members if he [Ramaphosa] wins. I will not vote for him. And I can talk to those I can influence and say why I will not. But should it happen that he gets voted in, I will serve under him.”

She said Dlamini-Zuma possessed the characteristics desperately needed by the ANC.

“What makes me mad is the insinuation of her being an ex of somebody. To this day, we don’t know what her and Zuma’s differences were. She never became an enemy of comrade Zuma – those are things you need in a leader. Someone who can keep ANC matters in the ANC, rather than going out like we saw with the deputy president.”

The view that the ANC would find itself in the opposition benches after the 2019 general elections if Dlamini-Zuma won, was a negative narrative created by those already plotting to leave the ANC, Mokonyane said.

“It is people who are preparing for a loss and then who want to justify their contributions to the demise of the ANC.

“When there is a policy position of the ANC, uSis Nkosazana will go for it. She will carry it, despite unpopularity. But with these ones [Dlamini-Zuma’s detractors] the challenge is, you can’t trust them with championing the cause of the ANC.

“Look at what is happening now with Steinhoff – they are all dead silent. Look at the issue of unemployment and poverty, they are quiet and instead what they say is that radical economic transformation was written by some people in Britain. They refuse to own ANC policies.

“I am scared of a leader like that.”

Mokonyane said these were trying times for the party leadership, worsened by a problematic top six.

“In the top six everyone other than comrade Jessie [Duarte] wants to be the president. It is a reflection of the problem of that top six. It means these are comrades who are not speaking to one another, who have been envious of the one in the top position.

“The worst thing that they did was to be the first to go out, even before branches could nominate them, to say they are available to be president.”

Members of the top six who have availed themselves for the position of president are: ANC treasurer-general Zweli Mkhize, chairperson Baleka Mbete and Ramaphosa.


NDZ will take ANC to Guptas

Bheki Cele believes Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma’s top six line-up will see ANC headquarters being relocated to Saxonwold.

The general says he has no issues politically with presidential frontrunner Dlamini-Zuma herself. However, the people on her slate will bring about the demise of the ANC.

“I know Nkosazana. We have worked together. I have no political issues with her. But her line-up is the Guptas’ lineup. That means this war that we are fighting against the damage the Guptas are doing will be perpetuated. It means that one day, the headquarters of the ANC will go to Saxonwold.

“The Guptas landed at the military base [Waterkloof], used blue lights to go to their wedding and got R30m from the Free State government and then you say that person [Ace Magashule] must be secretary?”

Magashule had been touted for the position of ANC secretary-general, an office Cele described as “the engine of the ANC”.

Magashule was allegedly involved in helping a Gupta-linked company get millions from the Free State government to set up a R570m dairy project.

Cele made his preference for a presidential candidate known earlier this year, when he expressed support for the ANC’s unwritten tradition that the deputy president succeed the president.

“I am now beyond tradition. I am supporting the man [Cyril Ramaphosa] now. The man just happens to coincide with the tradition,” he said.

“He is one of the people who got the blessing from former president Nelson Mandela and the ANC to go to business.

“The following NEC he was number one on the list, which means no one in the ANC had an issue with him and he has remained in the NEC since. He was then brought back in Mangaung.

“He never abandoned the ANC. Human beings must not be yo-yoed – when you want to, you bring them back, when you don’t, they must go.”

The former police commissioner said that he believed Ramaphosa was “capable and competent”.

“That thing of him being capital [friendly] must be stopped. He never took his money from the Guptas. If anyone claims his money was ill-gotten, they must come with proof.

“There is nowhere where it is said he went and did a cash heist. If he did that, they must tell us.”

Cele believes he and other prominent Ramaphosa supporters could become the victims of smear campaigns ahead of next weekend’s conference.

He said they had been warned to watch their backs – a threat he has not taken lightly.

“People have come to me with warnings and, in the province that I come from, warnings tend to be serious and linked to your life. So if you don’t get Prav’d out [kicked out of Cabinet] like Pravin Gordhan was, they could do a Sindiso Magaqa on you. It is not far-fetched in KwaZulu-Natal.” Magaqa, a former ANC Youth League secretary-general, was shot dead in Umzimkhulu in July, allegedly for his attempts to fight corruption.

“When a motorbike drives past me on the road now, I get anxious. This issue affects even our families, who also live in fear,” Cele said.

He said delegates at next week’s conference must avoid a battle like the one between supporters of then president Thabo Mbeki and Zuma in Polokwane in 2007, which tore the ANC apart.

“Our decisions, because of the high emotions during that period, were poisoned. I don’t think they were well-thought-out decisions ahead of Polokwane. That is where the ANC fractured. Polokwane did a lot of damage. We came back and we were triumphant, but the ANC was splintering.

“The camaraderie that we knew was no longer there. We were suspicious of each other. You do a small thing that you think is correct and people would say, ‘Oh yes that is a Mbeki person’ or ‘There goes that Zuma person’.”

He refuted claims that Ramaphosa and his supporters would leave the ANC if they did not succeed. He said the foot soldiers of the Dlamini-Zuma campaign – like Ekurhuleni mayor Mzwandile Masina – had threatened to walk if their candidate did not emerge victorious.

“There is no way I will leave the ANC if Nkosazana is elected. Ask those who say they will go where they will go, or if they will form their own thing.”

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Read more on:    anc  |  nomvula mokonyane  |  bheki cele  |  politics

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