East Cape pact with Mkhize paved way for Ramaphosa victory
The Eastern Cape struck a deal with Zweli Mkhize to back off so that David Mabuza could be elected deputy president of the ANC, it emerged last night. This paved the way for the province to work together with Mpumalanga to ensure Cyril Ramaphosa’s election as ANC president at Nasrec in Johannesburg yesterday.
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A severely shocked President Jacob Zuma sat stoney-faced and unmoving, lips tightly clenched, amid the cheers and clapping as Ramaphosa, 65, was named the ANC’s new leader with 2 440 votes to Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma’s 2 261 last night. The rand rose 4% on the news.
The election of the ANC’s top six produced a mixed bag of results.
Mabuza beat Lindiwe Sisulu by more than 300 votes, while Free State premier Ace Magashule pipped former KwaZulu-Natal premier Senzo Mchunu by just 24 votes for the secretary-general position.
Jessie Duarte retained her position as deputy secretary-general, successfully seeing off Zingiswa Losi, while Paul Mashatile defeated Maite Nkoana-Mashabane in the race for treasurergeneral of the party.
Ramaphosa’s win was engineered through a last-minute deal brokered by the Eastern Cape, Mpumalanga and Gauteng on Sunday night.
Under the deal, the Eastern Cape promised to support Mabuza as the deputy president in return for their backing Ramaphosa for the top post.
Eastern Cape ANC chairman Oscar Mabuyane said Ramaphosa’s win was good for the ANC.
“It will assist the ANC. The public out there has been anxiously waiting for that kind of face,” Mabuyane said.
“He is a face that we deserve – we need that face in the ANC and to move forward.”
He said the new top six represented a collapse of slates in the party.
“I think the delegates have decided to unite the ANC. If you look at the names, [they show a] different perspective.
“We have a leadership that is representative of all groupings within the organisation.”
Mabuyane led a team of negotiators who persuaded Mkhize to drop out of the race to become deputy president.
A source who was part of the negotiations said: “We [Eastern Cape and Mpumalanga] were not doing this for anyone but the ANC and the 16 million voters we want to win over during the 2019 elections.”
“So we agreed to have a combined team which has DD [Mabuza], Mantashe as chairman, and Jessie [Duarte] as deputy secretary[-general].”
Ramaphosa’s narrow win, by just 179 votes, saw the Dlamini-Zuma camp demanding a recount of the votes for both the president and deputy president positions.
This is what delayed the announcement of the results.
Amathole regional secretary Teris Ntutu, who ran Dlamini-Zuma’s campaign in the Eastern Cape, said he welcomed the outcome.
“The ANC is the winner. We are very happy with the outcome,” Ntutu said.
“It’s balanced with three people from either side of the factions coming here.
“The ANC will emerge stronger out of this and the future looks bright.
“It was democracy at play, free and fair, and both sides are happy.”
However, political analyst Mcebisi Ndletyana has slammed the election of Magashule as the new administrative head, saying this did not augur well for the party’s efforts to reclaim its credibility, given his implication in allegations of state capture and the poor state of ANC branches in his Free State home province.
“The Free State ANC is pretty much in disarray because of that man.
“He’s just been effectively found guilty for the second time by the courts of manipulating ANC processes.
“So if you say as the ANC we want to do things differently‚ Ace is not the guy to do it‚” Ndletyana said.
He said Mabuza’s election would also prove problematic in the run-up to the general election in 2019.
“DD Mabuza also has his own problems from Mpumalanga.
“He’s been accused of bribing and threatening journalists‚ so it’s bad news.
“Those two individuals represent the opposite of where the ANC needs to go.”
Political analyst Ralph Mathekga said the new top six of the ANC was trouble waiting to happen.
“This is a very worrying picture. In the last weeks‚ I have said this was David Mabuza’s conference. If you look at it‚ he had higher votes than Ramaphosa himself.
“Ramaphosa may be president, but the party still lies within the hands of very questionable people‚” Mathekga said‚ questioning whether the ANC was hoping to win the 2019 elections with Magashule as secretary-general of the party.
“It is a disaster. But this is good for the opposition.
“[Today] South Africa will wake up to the reality that the secretary-general of the ANC is a seriously corrupt man.
“[Today] they will realise that the most feared politician of Mpumalanga is now in power.
“South Africa needs to wake up to the reality that the deputy secretary-general‚ Jesse Duarte‚ is implicated in the Gupta scandals.”
He said Ramaphosa would have a lot to deal with.
Commenting shortly after the announcement of the results, ANC Youth League president Collen Maine said the youth league accepted the outcome.
“Branches of the ANC have spoken and we always said we will accept any outcome‚” he said.
Former ANC Youth League deputy president Ronald Lamola said the results represented a new lease of life for the party.