Motlanthe is not the issue: iLIVE

30 November 2012 - 02:40 By Mzukisi Gaba, Cape Town
Kgalema Motlanthe. File photo.
Kgalema Motlanthe. File photo.

The article "Removing Motlanthe dangerous", (yesterday), reports: "Cosatu is not giving up on its undertaking to call at the ANC's Mangaung conference for Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe to be retained in his position, even though ruling party branches have turned their backs on him in favour of businessman Cyril Ramaphosa.

"Cosatu general secretary Zwelinzima Vavi warned that Motlanthe's exclusion from the ANC's top six would fracture the party."

First, the central message communicated by the article is a gross distortion of reality.

ANC branches have not turned their backs on Motlanthe, but exercised their democratic preferences. My branch, Govan Mbeki, has nominated Motlanthe, so has the OR Tambo region.

What this means is that the jury is still out on who will emerge as ANC president after Mangaung.

Second, Vavi's fears are groundless and attest to low levels of political consciousness even in the echelons of leadership.

Chris Hani and Joe Slovo were prominent leaders of the ANC and were not in the top six. Why should the dropping of Motlanthe have implications for the ANC beyond Mangaung? If Vavi and company believe in collective leadership, whoever wins in Mangaung should be supported by the collective.

What will have implications for the ANC beyond Mangaung is the sabotage of the will of the branches.

It is tragic that the discourse on who should emerge as a leader in Mangaung is not underpinned by the differing approaches of the contending candidates.

What should worry the ANC is that whoever holds the whip hand there will have implications beyond Mangaung.