Businessman and former ANC treasurer general Mathews Phosa told Bloomberg on Sunday that he thought his movement and country were in crisis after on Saturday it was announced he has accepted a nomination to stand as president of the ANC.
Bloomberg reports that Phosa was nominated by the ANC ward in Cape Town, Western Cape, and that he would be up against deputy president Cyril Ramaphosa and former African Union Commission chair Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma.
The Mail and Guardian further reports Phosa said he could only accept a nomination from a leadership with the ANC’s values, and that the ANC had always been led by “a collective of comrades” and that this collective, which must be shown to be clean, was what they needed to form as they approached December. He was quoted as saying that they needed to promote the ANC’s values through their actions and if that collective was formed, his answer to the presidency request would be affirmative.
The Mail and Guardian further reported the ANC Ward 52 branch chairperson Moses Gwija called on Mathews to save the ANC’s soul, adding that the organisation was “in tatters”.
Phosa had reportedly previously asked Zuma to step down as president and now he was quoted as saying the country was threatened by dictatorship and that he would not keep quiet nor withdraw, and further called on other members of the ANC to join in the marches which called for Zuma to step down.
Speaking at Freedom Day celebrations in Langa, Cape Town, on Saturday, African News Agency further reports that Phosa said while he had previously remained silent out of loyalty to the party, he said he now acknowledged that the current ANC was not the party which he knew or to which he had dedicated his life.
“No-one will convince me that the current ANC leadership represents those ideals and aspirations for which so many fought and died. This is a new, unscrupulous breed of politicians who serve the self and not the people, and who seem to have lost all sense of decency and honour – let alone commitment to Ubuntu. The current ANC is but a mere shadow of its former glorious self,” Phosa said.
At the end of January, the Lowvelder reported that Andile Lily, a member of the Western Cape provincial executive council (PEC) and organisation Ses’khona People’s Rights Movement, said the “untainted” former Mpumalanga premier had the right reputation for the job and said a fearless leader was needed to bring about socio-economic transformation for the majority of the people.
Phosa reportedly told Lowvelder last year that “all options are on the table” in the leadership race.