Slates can damage reputations, warns Zizi Kodwa

In some circles Cyril Ramaphosa is being touted as President Jacob Zuma’s successor. But the ANC has called for all succession debates to not spill into the media just yet as it could harm the reputations of the preferred candidates. Picture: Sarel van der Walt
In some circles Cyril Ramaphosa is being touted as President Jacob Zuma’s successor. But the ANC has called for all succession debates to not spill into the media just yet as it could harm the reputations of the preferred candidates. Picture: Sarel van der Walt

The “premature” circulation of lists of preferred candidates for the top posts of the ANC by factions in the ANC must come to an end because it can be damaging to these so-called candidates’ reputations, said ANC spokesperson Zizi Kodwa.

He was reacting to a news report published in The New Age (owned by the Gupta family) about a list of who should be appointed to the ANC’s top six positions at the party’s elective conference in December.

The paper says the list was prepared by supporters of deputy-president Cyril Ramaphosa.

Ramaphosa’s name tops the list as ANC president.

Dr Zweli Mkhize, currently treasurer-general of the ANC, is indicated as Ramaphosa’s deputy.

Gauteng Premier David Makhura is named in the post of secretary general.

Enoch Godongwana, chairperson of the ANC’s subcommittee on economic transformation, is given the job of treasurer-general.

Thandi Modise, chair of the National Council of Provinces, is listed as ANC chairperson.

Vuyiswa Tulelo, consul-general for South Africa in Chicago in the USA and former secretary general of the ANC Youth League during Julius Malema’s term, is named deputy secretary general.

Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan and Tourism Minister Derek Hanekom, as well as other ministers who supported the motion of no confidence that Hanekom raised against President Jacob Zuma at a meeting of the ANC’s national executive committee (NEC) in December, are also nominated for the ANC’s new NEC, according to the slate as circulated.

Kodwa yesterday said ANC structures should refrain from making premature announcements regarding their preferred candidates.

“The ANC is currently discussing a set of principles that have to guide the process regarding the kind of leadership that must emerge after December. It must be one that can promote unity within the party.

“It is for this reason that the ANC’s NEC has made it clear that lists of preferred candidates by different factions must be abolished. It can only deepen divisions,” he said.

“Names of ANC leaders are used on the lists and it could damage their good reputations. However, it is also the duty of those leaders to say that it is not done on their behalf.”

On whether the ANC will take steps against the persons who are distributing the lists, Kodwa said it was difficult because no-one was admitting ownership of the lists.

“It is being sent to newspapers, but we will continue to ask our members to stop doing it,” said Kodwa.

The ANC on Monday also reprimanded the ANC Women’s League after the league officially announced at the weekend their backing for Dr Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma as their preferred candidate for ANC president. Dlamini-Zuma is chairperson of the African Union and Zuma’s ex-wife.

According to Kodwa, the party hasn’t officially opened its succession debate yet.

But the ANC Women’s League defended its statement yesterday, saying that it had not deviated “in any way” from the longstanding mandate from its members and supporters to pursue a call for the election of the ANC’s first female president, and having a minimum 50% representation in the top 6 of the ANC.

In a statement, it said: “In its 105yrs (sic) of existence the ANC has never had a female President and 50% representation in the top 6 of the ANC. That glass ceiling will be broken by having a female President giving closing remarks in the 54th ANC National Conference in December 2017 and other female cadres being in the top 6 of the organisation.”

“The call for the first female President and having 50% representation in ANC top 6 has gained relevance and necessary significance; therefore pronouncing on the preferred candidates to be lobbied cannot be in any way interpreted as a form of ill-discipline. In true pursuance of the ANC’s policy of equality and non-sexism, ANCWL will not be persuaded to stop its decision to call for the members of the ANC to elect its first ever woman as President in December 2017 and having women equally forming part of the ANC top 6.”

However, it added that “as an integral part of the ANC, the ANCWL will clarify to the ANC it’s decision to release the summary report of its NEC meeting and not engage the ANC through public platforms”.

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