The ANC’s victory at this year’s national elections came amid several apparent internal conflicts within the party after elections head Fikile Mbalula defended the president following a comment from ANC secretary-general Ace Magashule implying that Cyril Ramaphosa’s role in this year’s elections was insignificant.
Speaking on the sidelines of the Electoral Commission of South Africa results centre in Tswhane, Magashule said Ramaphosa was not the candidate premier and that it was the people who had ensured the party’s victory.
“The ANC has never been about an individual,” Magashule said.
This caught the eye of Mbalula who told Magashule to respect Ramaphosa’s role as president of the ANC.
“Don’t be allergic about Ramaphosa. He is your president,” said Mbalula.
Magashule’s conduct has even been criticised by ANC veteran Cheryl Carolus who, during a 702 interview on Monday, described Magashule’s actions as divisive and reckless.
She found Magashule’s actions to be disappointing for someone who was holding office and expected the ANC to hold the secretary-general responsible for his words. She hoped Magashule would listen and carry the ANC’s mandate forward.
Footage of the ANC’s chairperson Gwede Mantashe blatantly refusing to answer whether Magashule had become a liability to the party appears to support the theory of a definite line between party members within the party.
The Media Lord takes no prisoners ???? pic.twitter.com/WZFgO0pv7j
— Makhosini Mgitywa (@Makhosini) May 12, 2019
This is not the first time Magashule and Ramaphosa’s names have sparked rumours of a looming breakup within the party.
Democratic Alliance federal executive chairperson James Selfe predicted the ANC was bound to split post elections, at least within the next five years.
Speaking at the Electoral Commission results centre in Pretoria last week, Selfe said that during the elections, the DA was hoping the ANC would fall under 50% in provinces and that they would then depend on other parties to govern.
He said the DA had to seriously prepare for government as there was trouble in the ANC camp.
“I do think that the ANC within the next five years is bound to split. There are serious divisions in that organisation between the constitutionalist factions – if you like – headed by Cyril Ramaphosa, and the state capture faction headed by Ace Magashule. I do not believe that those two factions can coexist.
“Probably during the elective conference in 2021, some sort of break is going to happen in the ANC, and at that stage, we’ve got to position ourselves as a credible partner in order to form a national government in South Africa.”