ANC faction to boycott Cyril’s keynote speech
North West group aims to flood MP list with its candidates
Some supporters of Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma in North West are mobilising to boycott Cyril Ramaphosa's maiden January 8 statement rally as ANC president.
The group, believed to be aligned to premier Supra Mahumapelo, is circulating an SMS urging party members to give the ANC birthday bash a miss, to show their disapproval of Ramaphosa's presidency.
The SMS details the group's plan to oppose Ramaphosa's leadership across key political sites, including parliament.
ANC North West secretary Dakota Legoete said he was aware of the SMS and that the party was investigating its origin.
This is not the first time North West has opposed a newly elected ANC leader. In 2007, under Mahumapelo, the province led a campaign to reject President Jacob Zuma. There had been an expectation that the province would be launchpad for the breakaway party COPE. However, Mahumapelo then pledged his allegiance to Zuma.
According to the latest campaign, the anti-Ramaphosa group plans to keep tight control of branch executive committees with the aim of using them to flood the list of potential ANC MPs ahead of the 2019 general elections.
Ramaphosa won the ANC presidential race with 2,440 votes to Dlamini-Zuma's 2,261. North West has been one of her strongest support bases, giving Dlamini-Zuma 291 branch nominations during the nominations process.
At the heart of the members' unhappiness is a suspicion that Ramaphosa will persuade the ANC to adopt business-friendly policies at the expense of radical economic transformation.The Sunday Times has seen a message circulated on a WhatsApp group of mainly ANC members in North West, in which the disgruntled group calls for a boycott of the January 8 statement.
It reads: "RET [radical economic transformation] mission is not over comrades, our 1st visible action is not attend January 8 [sic].
"Support North West by all means maqabane [comrades], its our last province standing in CR attack ... let call our Regional leaders to reaffirm our mission because CR is out to weaken us & sell the ANC to the highest bidder [sic] ... real implementation of RET will be done by us not the President.
"Its still our BECs [branch executive committees] maqabane lets vigorously campaign so flood the list to parliament in 2019 [sic]."
Legoete said: "We will charge them for doing that. Those people are out of order. The January 8 statement is not a statement of the president but of the national executive committee. It is mischievous of them to want to isolate the president like that."
Ramaphosa is expected to deliver the January 8 statement in East London next Saturday, January 13.The speech will outline the ANC's programme for the year; the statement informs the government programme to be outlined by the president in next month's state of the nation address.
ANC provinces usually bus party members and supporters to the annual event.
Meanwhile, Legoete has confirmed that a special provincial general council is likely to be held in March to elect his successor after he was elected to the NEC. According to ANC rules, leaders elected to a higher structure cannot also serve on a lower structure.
Insiders have told the Sunday Times that controversial former Rustenburg mayor Matthew Wolmarans was in the running to become the next ANC North West secretary.
Other possible contenders are rural environmental and agricultural development MEC Manketsi Tlhape, a longtime ally of Mahumapelo.