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By Lunga Simelane


Ramaphosa’s $4 million Dollargate: ‘This is not the end of the story,’ say analysts

'It is definitely a time for them to mobilise and counter-mobilise to favour Zuma and the whole Ace Magashule initiative.'

Although various ANC groups in KwaZulu-Natal may possess a lot of influence at the national ANC conferences, their political stance could be a drop in the ocean in the bigger scheme of things.

The ANC regions in KZN, including the women’s league and youth league, yesterday paid a visit to former president Jacob Zuma, along with gifts, which reflected Zuma’s power in the party.

However, political economy analyst Daniel Silke said although there may be elements of emotional and historic attachment to Zuma, they were limited to relatively small groups in the broader ANC. The latest delegation to visit included ANC regions in KZN such as eMalahleni (now called Mbuso Kubheka).

According to Silke, the visits are more a feature of the regional politics of KZN than it is of the national politics of the ANC.

“I think any residual support for Zuma is pretty limited and also limited to any chance to pull political strings within the ANC itself,” he said.

“I don’t think it is a major issue but clearly for President Cyril Ramaphosa, there are many questions to answer now.”

Silke said the timing of the latest allegations made against Ramaphosa, regarding a burglary at a game farm he owns, created a degree of vulnerability in advance of the December conference.

“I don’t expect these allegations to have any dramatic effective on the re-election process but there is no doubt there will be a period of discomfort in the ANC,” he said.

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Silke said “skeletons in the closet” would be unleashed in the climax of political activities for the next six months.

“I think the broader balance of sources in the ANC are likely to stand solidly behind Ramaphosa, despite the regional shows of support for Zuma and other alternative political candidates that may come to the fore,” he said.

Yesterday’s visit came before the ANC in KZN convened its provincial elective conference, billed for 15-17 July at a venue yet to be announced.

Political analyst André Duvenhage said the province where Ramaphosa has the weakest support is KZN – the biggest ANC province and without a doubt quite influential. Duvenhage said SA had seen the successes of the radical economic transformation (RET) group in places such as the Harry Gwala-Ixopo region.

“It is definitely a time for them to mobilise and counter-mobilise to favour Zuma and the whole Ace Magashule initiative,” he said

“They might try to force Ramaphosa to step aside. There is a lot of political strategy behind this and this is not the end of the story. I am expecting more to build up.”