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ANC mum on Zuma deal


President want proposes loser in race for top post becomes the deputy

Jacob Zuma. File image

ANC PROVINCIAL leaders are tight-lipped on whether they will accept President Jacob Zuma’s proposal that the loser in the party presidential bid at the December elective conference should automatically deputise the winner.

Various ANC provincial structures have been having a series of bilateral meeting since the party’s national policy conference, which ended on July 5.

Prior to the policy conference, the ANC in the Northern Cape was the only structure that had pronounced on the ANC’s deputy president Cyril Ramaphosa to take over the reins, despite a ban on public pronouncements by Luthuli House.

At the end of the policy conference, Zuma tried to persuade members to accept a conciliatory deal in a hotly-contested presidential race between Ramaphosa and Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma, which received mixed reactions.

Yesterday, the ANC in Gauteng and Mpumalanga also held their bilateral meetings, led by their provincial leaders Paul Mashatile and David Makhura in Joburg.

Both provinces refused to discuss the contents of their bilateral discussions, especially regarding Zuma’s proposals.

Instead, they issued a statement saying: “The meeting agreed that the unity of the ANC remains sacrosanct and its pursuit must always put the interests of all South Africans first.

“Among others, the engagement was aimed at discussing a wide range of organisational issues post the ANC’s recent national policy conference. It was also to prepare for the ANC’s 54th national elective conference in December, 2017.”

Gauteng ANC secretary Hope Papo and Mpumalanga secretary Mandla Ndlovu said the two provincial working committees had agreed to continue with their bilateral engagements as well as with other provinces, ahead of the December elective conference.

“We have collectively agreed to take critical steps in the next four months to work hard to foster unity and cohesion not only within the ANC but within the broader society.

“Furthermore, we will develop a joint programme of action between now and December, 2017 to have meaningful engagements with all ANC structures in our respective provinces and other provinces,” their statement said.

Ironically, during a similar meeting earlier this month, the ANC in North West and the Free State – the two provinces which are known to support Dlamini Zuma – also made a call for unity within the party.

The provincial secretaries of the ANC in the Free State and North West, William Bulwane and Dakota Legoete, respectively, said they had agreed that the strengthening of the ANC was a pillar that would ensure that the party lived for another 105 years and more.

“The two provincial executive committees (PECs) agreed that they would, individually and collectively, embark on programmes to strengthen the ANC – both qualitatively and quantitatively. The meeting therefore agreed that the two PECs would continue to work towards unity of action and purpose among the members and structures of the party,” the statement read.

In all these bilateral meetings no pronouncements were made on the leadership choice. A similar outcome was seen by the ANC in Limpopo and Mpumalanga last week.

Last night, the ANC in the Northern Cape and North West were still locked in a meeting.