‘Not in my lifetime’‚ Collen Maine says he won’t be endorsing Ramaphosa

27 August 2017 - 12:15 By Olebogeng Molatlhwa
ANC youth league president Collen Maine. File photo.
ANC youth league president Collen Maine. File photo.

ANC youth league president Collen Maine says party members in the North West cannot be allowed to endorse Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa to become the next ANC president.

Speaking to The Times' sister publication‚ Sunday Times‚ Maine suggested that it would be embarrassing to him were the North West province to endorse Ramaphosa when he had already openly expressed support for rival presidential hopeful Dr Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma.

Maine said Dlamini-Zuma “resonates with what we want to achieve”.

“No‚ we can’t allow people in the North West to endorse Ramaphosa. We can’t allow it. For instance you are talking to me‚ I am the president of the [ANC] youth league. I have pronounced Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma. So‚ I would have said who my province is endorsing. People who want to endorse Ramaphosa‚ it’s lies. There is no such‚” said Maine.

“We don’t believe in his leadership. It is not that he can’t lead. We don’t believe in his leadership. We don’t suggest that he can’t lead and if he is elected tomorrow‚ because we are still lobbying now‚ and the conference arrives at a difference decision‚ we will support him.”

Asked whether there were any circumstances under which the youth league could be persuaded to endorse Ramaphosa‚ Maine said: “Not in my lifetime.”

Maine’s hard-line stance is bound to heighten fears that Ramaphosa supporters around the country will be ostracised and intimidated by provincial leaders sympathetic to Dlamini-Zuma‚ ahead of crucial regional elective conferences and branch nominations for the December conference.

Branches in KwaZulu-Natal have already started revolting. This follows a decision by the provincial executive committee to unilaterally dissolve the leadership of the ANC in the Emalahleni (Newcastle) region and strip away the powers of the regional leadership in the Harry Gwala‚ Far North and Lower South Coast regions.

The PEC justified its decisions by citing apparent infighting in these regions but denied that the dissolutions were part of a purge.

The Free State ANC was forced to postpone a provincial elective conference about three weeks ago with some claiming that chairman Ace Magashule did so out of fear that he no longer held popular support.

Magashule is being challenged for the provincial leadership by his deputy Thabo Manyoni‚ who is a supporter of Ramaphosa.

In a veiled attack against Ramaphosa‚ Maine said ANC leaders should not use calls for a judicial commission of inquiry into allegations of state capture to score political points.

Maine said the ANC was desperate for the inquiry to be convened but added that President Jacob Zuma’s decision to take former Public Protector Thuli Madonsela’s remedial action for judicial review was hampering that decision.

“The problem about it is when you use it to advance a particular factional view because there are those‚ when they campaign for the December conference‚ they paint others as corrupt. They want to paint themselves as angels. So we are saying it must happen but it must not be used for political point-scoring.

“We must not behave as if there is no hurdle. The hurdle is the remedial action that someone else should convene the commission of inquiry‚” he said.