Ngwako Modjadji
2 minute read
6 Feb 2017
6:30 am

Phosa enters race for the top ANC job

Ngwako Modjadji

The move by the Milo Malatji branch is seen as a blow to Ramaphosa and his supporters in the province.

Former ANC treasurer-general Mathews Phosa.

New battle lines have been drawn in the ANC succession debate, as one of the biggest ANC branches in Limpopo by numbers, Milo Malatji, seems to have broken ranks with party provincial bigwigs.

ANC provincial senior leaders support Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa to succeed President Jacob Zuma as ANC leader at the party’s elective conference in December.

Now, it has emerged that the Milo Malatji branch is in talks with former ANC treasurer-general Mathews Phosa. Branch chairperson Boy Mamabolo said yesterday Phosa was lobbying his branch to support him.

“We are open to discussions,” Mamabolo said.

“We will support anyone who is suitable to lead the ANC.”

Phosa, Ramaphosa, Minister in the Presidency Jeff Radebe, National Assembly Speaker Baleka Mbete and former African Union Commission chairperson Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma are all already in the race for the job.

Phosa yesterday declined to comment when asked about his intentions. However, his decision to grace the ANC Youth League members meeting in Polokwane, Limpopo, at the weekend raised eyebrows.

This is likely to be interpreted in political circles as the first sign of his readiness to join the ANC leadership race. Last week, the ANC in the Western Cape said it wanted Phosa to replace Zuma.

The move by the Milo Malatji branch is seen as a blow to Ramaphosa and his supporters in the province, who formed the CR17 lobby group with the sole aim of lobbying for Ramaphosa.

But Ramaphosa can still count on allies such as premier and ANC provincial chairperson Stan Mathabatha, and the economic development, environment and tourism MEC and ANC Mopani regional chairperson, Seaparo Sekoati.

They wield enormous influence among ANC members in the province. Dlamini-Zuma’s allies, such as ANC provincial secretary Nocks Seabi, former ANC provincial chairperson Dickson Masemola and former ANC Youth League provincial chairperson Lehlogonolo Masoga, are said to be making inroads in the province in their bid to ensure Dlamini-Zuma becomes the next ANC leader.

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