Anti-Jacob Zuma Lobby Meet to Decide Leaders

Filed under: Africa |
Jacob Zuma photo

South Africa’s unpopular president, Jacob Zuma

ANC leaders from eight South African provinces, all of whom are opposed to President Jacob Zuma’s leadership, met last night in an attempt to agree on who their candidates for the party’s top six positions should be.

Sources with knowledge of the meeting said that while the leaders agree Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe should be their presidential candidate, they fear his reluctance might sink their campaign.

The camp is also struggling to agree on who they want to nominate as secretary-general.

The ANC Youth League is pushing hard for its former leader, Sports Minister Fikile Mbalula, to stand for the position.

But the Eastern Cape wants Gwede Mantashe to retain his position, while Gauteng is backing ANC national executive member Joel Netshitenzhe to become secretary-general.

Human Settlements Minister Tokyo Sexwale was punted in the meeting as a possible deputy president, while Mathews Phosa is likely to be nominated to remain treasurer-general.

The meeting could not agree on nominees for deputy secretary-general and chairperson, and KwaZulu-Natal and Eastern Cape representatives were asked to come up with possible – “preferably female” – candidates.

The “forces of change” lobby in KwaZulu-Natal has been proposing provincial chairperson and Premier Zweli Mkhize or MEC Senzo Mchunu’s names as possible chairpersons.

It is not clear whether Motlanthe will agree to be nominated.

According to a report that came out last week , Motlanthe told lobbyists at a meeting, dubbed the “Malibongwe gathering”, that he would only accept a nomination if it was not aligned to slates (election lists of candidates).

Two sources who were briefed about the meeting said representatives from all provinces except the Northern Cape attended.

Not all who wanted to attend could make it because of the bad weather over Gauteng last night.

The lobbyists are due to meet again next week.

The ANC’s leadership nominations open formally next month, and branches are this month gathering to decide who they should nominate.