Zuma rebels plan to make Cyril pay
Secret talks to form new alliance and split ANC's KwaZulu-Natal votes
Jacob Zuma loyalists in KwaZulu-Natal are said to be plotting a campaign to oust President Cyril Ramaphosa as party leader and split their votes in elections next year - voting for the ANC in the province but giving their national ballots to a party sympathetic to their cause should their plan to remove Ramaphosa fail.
Insiders say the Zuma backers were considering working with Andile Mngxitama's Black First Land First ahead of the polls as part of a bid to punish Ramaphosa for Zuma's early exit from office.
In addition, Zuma's close ally, Caesar Nongqunga, president of the Twelve Apostles Church in Christ, has formed a new political party, the African Transformation Congress. Insiders said Nongqunga formed the party with Zuma's blessing. He was not available for comment yesterday.
Church leaders held a meeting at Umgababa on the KwaZulu-Natal South Coast yesterday, where a letter written to the ANC informing the party of the decision to launch a new political organisation was read out.
Senior leaders in KwaZulu-Natal said several caucus meetings had been held in the province where a detailed plan to undermine Ramaphosa was hatched by Zuma's backers.
The plan includes ensuring that Zuma's close ally, Sihle Zikalala, is re-elected party chairman when the province elects new leaders. An elective conference is scheduled to be held at the end of the month.
A Zikalala-led executive would then call for an early national general council, which would be converted to a national elective conference to remove Ramaphosa.
Ramaphosa would be accused of failing to implement party resolutions as adopted at Nasrec in December, including expropriation of land without compensation.
"They are demanding a national general council. There has been an engagement with the SG [ANC secretary-general Ace Magashule]," said a senior provincial leader.
"They will claim that Cyril was now betraying the resolutions from Nasrec on land because of the constitutional amendment process," said a provincial leader.
"They will also accuse him of failing to set up the state bank as directed by national conference. Another allegation against him would be the weakening of Eskom after the signing of the deal with independent power producers."
Should they fail to convince the majority within the ANC, sources said, they plan to defy Ramaphosa's leadership and operate as an autonomous ANC in KwaZulu-Natal.
This would include running a separate election campaign with Zuma as its face...