After a weekend of celebrating another tenure as the ruling party in South Africa. the ANC NEC met in Pretoria to reconfigure a way forward with President Cyril Ramaphosa at the helm.
Much of the talk leading up to the NEC’s first meeting in the sixth democratic era was marred by factional conflict between senior ranking officials within the party.
Factionalism stands out ahead of ANC NEC meeting
The ANC’s head of elections, Fikile Mbalula, was very critical of secretary-general Ace Magashule’s comments about the ANC’s performance at the polls.
During an interview, the SG had denied that Ramaphosa was singlehandedly responsible for the resurgence of the party. He chalked it up to the collective work of the party’s senior officials, including former president Jacob Zuma.
“The ANC would be where it is today. People have voted the ANC. People are not voting any person,” he said.
Mbalula’s scathing response — suggesting that the ANC’s renewal can be linked to Ramaphosa’s landslide victory at the Nasrec conference — to Magashule was met with resistance by other high-ranking officials within the party, including the minister in the presidency, Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma.
“Yes [the comments are divisive], if you keep raising issues around Nasrec that’s divisive, isn’t it? Because Nasrec was a point in time, why do we keep going back to it? To what end?” she said.
Premier candidates only agenda of special meeting
Probed on the agenda of its first ANC NEC meeting after the elections, Magashule stated that the NEC would focus on electing its premier candidates for the eight provinces it managed to win at the polls.
Each provincial branch is required to submit three premier candidates for consideration. These candidates will be discussed in the meeting and one from each province will be elected as the premier.
“This is a special ANC NEC. We are just discussing the issue of premier elects because you know in terms of the conference resolution, the provinces must give us three names, and the provinces have done so. The decision-making body on this matter is the NEC,” Magashule explained.
He noted that this meeting would not feature some introspection on the outcomes of the elections, neither would it table the tough task Ramaphosa has ahead of reducing the size of his Cabinet.