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By Stephen Tau

Journalist


Road to Nasrec: Mkhize doing a better job of dealing with his scandals than Ramaphosa

Despite having had the Digital Vibes cloud over his head, an expert says Mkhize has done a much better job in clearing the air than the president.


As the race for the new African National Congress (ANC) leadership heats up, several names have been bandied about.

Some of the prominent names include those of Zweli Mkhize, Paul Mashatile, Ronald Lamola, Mmamoloko Kubayi, Jacob Zuma, Gwede Mantashe, Mdumiseni Ntuli, Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma and Fikile Mbalula.

While the sitting president Cyril Ramaphosa appears to be enjoying the majority of support from some of the nine provinces, he is also facing a fierce battle for the position of president from the likes of Dlamini-Zuma and Mashatile.

Just this past weekend, Mkhize’s presidential aspirations seemed to be gaining momentum after he was nominated by the ANC National Youth Task Team.

Mashatile too was nominated by the party’s National Youth Task Team for the position of deputy president.

Both Mkhize and Ramaphosa have been facing different serious allegations.

Mkhize who has since resigned from his position as Health minister still has a pending court matter over the Digital Vibe scandal.

ALSO READ: ‘Zweli Mkhize not cleared in Digital Vibes scandal’ – SIU

Battle for ANC president

Ramaphosa on the other hand still has a lot to answer to in relation to the burglary which happened at his Phala Phala farm in 2020.

ALSO READ: Motlanthe warns Ramaphosa’s refusal to explain Phala Phala ‘damaging presidency’

Speaking to The Citizen on Monday, political analyst and former ANC Youth League member Rebone Tau said the manner in which Mkhize handled the Digital Vibe scandal versus how Ramaphosa has been dealing with Phala Phala, was much better.

“The sitting president who say he is an upright man, should do what is right especially where there is such allegations levelled against him,” Tau said.

Battle for the position of secretary general

Regarding the position of secretary general which Ntuli and Mbalula are vying for, Tau is of the opinion the latter is standing a better chance.

It is not the first time Mbalula is competing for the position described as the engine room of the ANC.

Mbalula lost out to the then ANC secretary general Gwede Mantashe who is currently the chairperson of the party and vying one more term in the same position.

“He (Mbalula) is someone I can say is now ready to can lead when we look at the different generations of the Youth League where he also once occupied leadership positions,” said Tau.

Battle for ANC chairperson

“The position of chairperson needs someone who understands the role of this position and when you read about how this position was created for Oliver Tambo, one of the things was to be the head of policy of the ANC but also the custodian of organizational discipline in the party.

“So, you need someone who understand why in 1991 the ANC decided to have a national chairperson position because this position was not there prior to 1991,” said Tau.

Former party president Jacob Zuma has also made it clear he intend contesting the chairperson position.

ALSO READ: Mantashe says Zuma too old for ANC chairperson position

Commenting on the National Youth Task Team’s endorsements over the weekend, Tau said the ANC Youth League has never been Ramaphosa’s proxy and therefore we cannot say the Youth League has lost faith in Ramaphosa.

The the party’s KwaZulu-Natal provincial leadership supporting former Mkhize also said they were confident of victory

ALSO READ: The ANC in KZN are confident that Zweli Mkhize will be victorious

“However, what is interesting is that the last Regional General Councils (RGCs), I was still a member at the time was held in 2012, I don’t recall any other RGCs that were held going to 2017 and now because branches of the Youth League must pronounce themselves and not the leadership…so the question is has the Youth League themselves lost the principles, lost what is required of them as a structure,” Tau said.

Another political analyst Professor Dirk Kotze said Ramaphosa at this stage still has a clear majority from provinces, saying the focus for now is rather on the positions of deputy president and secretary general.

“Those are the positions that are still open including that of the chairperson which more of a ceremonial position, its less important than the other two and its also a contest of older persons and if you look in the past it has always been older persons and not young persons because it is not seen as a launching pad towards higher positions.

“The nomination process has not been as disruptive to the previous ones and I think the effort by their electoral commission to try to undermine or discourage the use of slates has worked to some extend and the other rule they’re applying with respect to the financial discloser by all the candidate, something we have to see how its going to happen but clearly it’s a new ball game,” said Kotze.

He added that the closer elective conference approaches in December, the temperature will without a doubt rise up