News Analysis: Why ANC nominated Didiza as compromise candidate in Tshwane - Times LIVE
Sat Mar 25 15:40:13 SAST 2017

News Analysis: Why ANC nominated Didiza as compromise candidate in Tshwane

FIONA FORDE | 2016-06-22 11:02:14.0
Former cabinet minister Thoko Didiza is set to be named as an ANC's mayoral candidate.
Image by: Trevor Samson

The decision by the ANC leadership — both provincial and national — to nominate Thoko Didiza as the mayoral candidate for Tshwane has backfired in a spectacular fashion, yet one can understand why the governing party has taken the route that it did.

The problem, however, is that both the provincial and national leaders failed to communicate their reasoning properly to the regional rank-and-file, a reflection of the party’s arrogance and desperation combined.

The first whispers of Didiza’s possible nomination as mayor were heard last year, when the provincial ANC was forced to face the sobering truth that it stood a very good chance of losing the capital city in the August 3 elections. Five years ago, the governing party scraped back into power with only a slither of a majority and its prospects are looking even more grim today, with the DA and the EFF nipping at its heels.

Didiza wasn’t the only contender. The other possible nominee was Gwen Ramakgopa, but talks between the provincial ANC and their peers in the national executive committee eventually settled on Didiza as the steadiest pair of hands.

That is their prerogative, after all. When the ANC assessed the situation, it was of the firm view that the region’s preferred candidates — Mapiti Matsena, Karin Littler and Susan Ngobeni — did not have what it takes to ensure Pretoria did not fall.

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