The ANC Youth League (ANCYL) has slammed Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa for announcing his so-called “winning team” ahead of the governing party’s upcoming national conference next month, when the ANC is expected to elect its national officials.
This after Ramaphosa, in an unprecedented move at the weekend, named Science and Technology Minister Naledi Pandor as his deputy – along with three other ANC leaders for other positions – should he be elected as President Jacob Zuma’s successor at the congress.
ANCYL national spokesperson Mlondi Mkhize has accused Ramaphosa of being power hungry, saying the young lions were disappointed in the deputy president and found his remarks to be divisive.
“By pronouncing his so-called ‘winning’ team, the presidential hopeful Cde Ramaphosa demonstrated his hunger to lead at all costs even if his utterances can cause the disunity of the organisation. Cde Ramaphosa has stooped so low by purporting that there is a winning team in the ANC and thus suggesting that there is also a losing team,” Mkhize said in a statement on Tuesday.
He said Ramaphosa’s decision to break away from ANC tradition undermined the current process of the ANC branch general meetings (BGMs), where members of the party across the country are nominating their preferred presidential candidates.
“Whilst the ANCYL respects the rights of Cde Ramaphosa as enshrined in rule 5 of the ANC constitution, his pronouncements of his so-called ‘winning’ team exposes his lack of respect to the organisational processes and procedures,” Mkhize said.
Mkhize took exception to Ramaphosa’s “winning team” title, saying the ANC had no winning teams. He added that the party leaders the deputy president named should also distance themselves from such a “divisive title”.
Ramaphosa is a leading contender for the ANC’s top job along with his main rival, former AU chairperson Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, who has the backing of the youth league.
The deputy president’s slate included current ANC secretary-general Gwede Mantashe as national chairperson, former KwaZulu-Natal ANC chairperson Senzo Mchunu as secretary-general, and ANC Gauteng chairperson Paul Mashatile, as the next treasurer-general.
Mantashe, in a statement on Monday, said it was unacceptable for presidential hopefuls to announce “a lineup of comrades to be elected as officials” at the ANC’s national congress.
He said candidates pronouncing on their slates usurped “the entrenched right of the branches to nominate candidates of their choosing”.
However, Ramaphosa defended his decision to announce his running mates, saying the names he mentioned for leadership positions should be understood in context. He said the names arose from interactions and nominations emerging from ANC structures.
“I welcome all the views, including those that have raised concerns about my approach on the matter. I see these views in a positive light as a process of enriching and deepening our internal democratic processes and promotion of unity in the ANC,” Ramaphosa said in a statement.