If Zuma goes: who will lead the ANC?

By Almari Wessels
17 March 2016

Political analysts aren’t sure if Zuma will be recalled in the near future. But if the unthinkable happens who will take over the reins from Zuma?

The gloves are off. President Jacob Zuma's said to have his back against the wall after revelations that the Gupta brothers have allegedly been handing out cabinet posts -- and speculation about who will lead the ANC and become the country’s next president has flared up anew.

“It’s going to be an unholy fight between Cyril Ramaphosa, Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma and Zweli Mkhize,” says Rhoda Kadalie, a human rights activist and the chief executive of Impumulelo. “I think it should be Ramaphosa, for the role he played during the transition of South Africa to a democracy.”

But Cyril was out of politics for a long time while he was involved in business and Rhoda wonders if he has enough broad support to land the country’s top job.

Rhoda also has praise for Zweli Mkhize, the ANC’s secretary general. “He’s an honourable man and it would be good for the country if he became president.”

She feels the president’s ex wife, Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, wouldn’t be a suitable choice. “We don’t need a woman president from an older generation,” Rhoda says. But she adds that no candidate could be worse than Zuma.

Kgalema Motlanthe (who was the interim president after the ANC recalled Thabo Mbeki in 2008) is once again in the running and Professor Daryl Glaser (Wits university’s head of political studies) feels it’s perhaps not a bad thing.

“What’s in Kgalema’s favour is the fact that he doesn’t have as many political enemies as Cyril over whose head the Marikana sword is still hanging. If Nkosazana gets the post it will raise suspicions because some will believe she’ll protect her ex husband.

“Kgalema has always been a reluctant presidential contender but he’s less controversial than the other possible candidates.”

Professor Glaser believes Zweli could possibly take the top job – but he also believes the appointment of Cyril or Kgalema will stabilise the political landscape and the country’s economic prospects and could improve them in the long term.

PHOTOS: flickr.com/photos/ilopictures, Albouy / Pouteau / Crozet


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