In another in its litany of unintended consequences which almost invariably illustrate its lack of thought in following the tenets of our hard-won Constitution, the ANC has had a crack at the majority of its most powerful women members. One could argue that there is some consistency in the National Executive Committee also criticizing Cosatu for endorsing Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa as its Presidential candidate and pointing to ANC branches as the proper vehicle for nomination. But it gets a bit tricky when the ANC Women’s League (ANCWL), puts forward seven powerful female candidates in the name of lobbying for equal gender representation in the party’s top structure. Equal gender representation is not only more constitutional – it’s in line with the party’s overall policy. You could say it’s the satirical equivalent of breaking the British injunction of, ‘don’t talk about the war’. Here we have an internecine ANC factional war – which would be normal politics if it weren’t shot through with rampant, deepening corruption during the Zuma years. This has left swathes of the populace deeply disenchanted and the ANC weaker than at any time since it came to power. So, when the NEC again makes a hollow call for all its structures to ‘desist from [even] discussing leadership… in the name of unity’, it’s a bit like Zuma’s hugely informative yet ironical speech to the ANC’s 105th birthday party gathering – very telling. – Chris Bateman
By Mahlatse Gallens
Johannesburg – The ANC has come down hard on its women’s league for endorsing Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma as its presidential candidate.
The party has labelled the move premature, divisive and in defiance of its national executive committee (NEC).
ANC spokesperson Zizi Kodwa said the ANC Women’s League (ANCWL) pronouncement “undermines the very same efforts of fostering unity in the ANC as it is against the decisions taken by the NEC that all its structures, including leagues, must desist from discussing leadership of the ANC”.
The ANC said the party had only opened discussions based on a set of principles that should guide the party in naming its leaders.
The ANCWL announced on the eve of the party’s 105th birthday celebrations that it will back the outgoing African Union Commission chairperson Dlamini-Zuma to replace President Jacob Zuma.
“After careful consideration and opening our eyes as wide as possible, Cde Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma is the only suitable candidate at this point in our history to lead the African National Congress in December 2017,” the ANCWL said in a statement.
ANCWL nominates NDZ. Zuma calls for unity. Mantashe says ANCWL jumped the gun. ANCWL say they're unapologetic. Welcome to 2017.
— Agent Provocateur (@De_Imperial) January 9, 2017
The league, announcing that it would lobby for the 50/50 gender representation policy to be applied to the party’s top structure, went on to name its preferred candidates for the positions.
Race in full swing
“The ANCWL has resolved to lobby for Baleka Mbete, Jessie Duarte, Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula, Lindiwe Sisulu, Maite Nkoana-Mashabane and Nomvula Mokonyane to be considered in the other five of the six official positions of the ANC in December 2017,” the ANCWL said.
Kodwa cautioned the individuals touted for leadership positions against being used to divide the ANC.
The race for the ANC’s top post is already in full swing after Cosatu endorsed Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa to take over the reins.
The ANC also criticised Cosatu at the time, saying the endorsement did not foster unity in the alliance.
The party said once the nomination process is opened, it should be led by its branches.
“A right to nominate or elect leaders of the ANC is the sole right reserved for the branches of the ANC…and it is not transferable,” said Kodwa.
The ANCWL declined to comment on the matter.
The party’s January 8 statement this weekend was dominated by talk of unity. Factionalism, which has plagued the governing party, was slammed. – News24