News / South Africa

Steven Tau
3 minute read
17 Jan 2017
7:01 am

‘Gloves officially off’ in ANC succession battle – analyst

Steven Tau

According to Masoga, it has become a battle of goodwill and evil.

Presidential hopefuls Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma and Cyril Ramaphosa.

The ANC’s political rallies – that were addressed by various senior leaders at the weekend and formed part of the ruling party’s 105th anniversary celebrations – “were a clear indication of a contest between political goodwill and evil”.

These were the views of political analyst Elvis Masoga following statements by President Jacob Zuma and his deputy, Cyril Ramaphosa.

Masoga on Monday told The Citizen the gloves were “officially off ahead of the ANC’s elective conference” at the end of the year.

“Guns are pointed at opponents, and all camps within the ANC are waiting for the war drums to beat,” Masoga said.

The analyst said there had always been a long-term plan to benefit Zuma and his allies – at the expense of the starving masses – since the president’s inauguration in 2009.

“Zuma, whose agenda has been to create a presidency that will remain in the Zuma clan, is sensing that Ramaphosa threatens the scheme,” Masoga said.

“If Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma is elected president, her ex-husband will still be able to remote-control the affairs of the ANC and the country from Nkandla.”

He described Zuma’s speech on Sunday as “unfortunate”.

READ MORE: How the different factions within ANC are ‘playing powerful, dirty tricks’

“Zuma made his speech at a time when the ANC is in need of organisational unity, but instead chose to spread a message of disunity,” the analyst said.

“His latest remarks have the potential to damage the ANC even further.

“Why did the president even remind us of the old ANC culture and traditions, in which a president is normally succeeded by his deputy?

“This reeks of hypocrisy, as Zuma is spitting on the very same party culture of which he is a prime beneficiary.”

He said Ramaphosa’s remarks that divisions within the ruling party were being fuelled by a relentless competition for positions “are fairly correct”.

Another analyst, Andre Duvenhage, echoed Masoga’s sentiments, saying the past weekend’s rallies meant the succession battle had officially begun.

“These kinds of rallies are what we will definitely see throughout the year,” Duvenhage said.

“Zuma’s remarks on his retirement are also an indication that he is on his way out.”

Duvenhage said the next six months would be critically important for all parties concerned with the ANC.

“We are likely to see a show of force, and I think between July and September, it will also become clearer as to who might take over between the likes of Ramaphosa and Dlamini-Zuma,” said Duvenhage.

“I have no doubt that Zuma will not be part of the top six of the ANC.”

Zuma recently indirectly endorsed Dlamini-Zuma for ANC president, despite urging people on Sunday to desist from talking publicly about their preferred candidates.

As things stand, Ramaphosa has the backing of the country, while Dlamini-Zuma has some support from the ANC Women’s League.

The ANC Youth League has since said its preferred candidate would shock many.

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