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By Eric Naki

Political Editor

Sisulu poised to take on Ramaphosa in December

Sisulu contested Ramaphosa at Nasrec, but lost along with five other presidential candidates.

Since Jacob Zuma’s exit from active politics and Ace Magashule’s sidelining by the ANC, the Zuma faction has been desperately struggling to find a clear figurehead to represent them at the December 2022 ANC elective conference.

Realising that Magashule may be out of the running for the ANC presidency due to his current suspension by the party, the radical economic transformation (RET) forces were now putting their weight behind ANC national executive committee (NEC) member and Minister of Tourism Lindiwe Sisulu.

At the same time, another RET element wants Zuma’s son, Duduzane, as its presidential candidate.

But if a statement by the Jacob G Zuma Foundation spokesperson, Mzwanele Manyi, is anything to go by, Sisulu appeared to be a favourite. Manyi claimed the ongoing media criticism aimed at Sisulu had to do with her being a threat to President Cyril Ramaphosa’s power.

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Manyi tweeted on Tuesday: “Stratcom in all its elements is out on a full-on war because she is threatening their candidate.”

But to many RET members, Sisulu rates lower than their hero, Magashule. However, they face a dilemma as it was unlikely that Magashule’s criminal case would be concluded when the ANC’s 55th elective national conference takes place in December.

Magashule had not given up on his aim to lead the party. In 2018, he gave Ramaphosa only one term in power promising “we will be back in five years”.

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The move to recruit a new figurehead follows after Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma signalled she was not keen to join the Zuma faction again. She further fell out of favour with the RET faction when she became a senior member of the Ramaphosa Cabinet.

She lost to Ramaphosa at Nasrec by a small margin. Duduzane, who joined a branch executive committee in
KwaZulu-Natal recently, was regarded as too junior to take on Ramaphosa in December.

Sisulu contested Ramaphosa at Nasrec, but lost along with five other presidential candidates. She had been the only rogue element in the Ramaphosa Cabinet issuing occasional statements critical of his policies.

She claimed the country’s constitution had failed to end poverty among Africans and nothing would come out of the Zondo commission.

But recently, in separate articles replying to her, the justice ministry spokesperson, Chrispian Phiri, and ANC veteran Mavuso Msimang lambasted Sisulu for criticising policies that she had been part of making, both as NEC and Cabinet member.