ANC national executive committee member Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma and Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa at the official closing of the ANC’s fifth national policy conference, held in Nasrec. File picture: Simphiwe Mbokazi
It will be interesting to observe, if these forthcoming elections of a “new” ANC leadership at the ANC’s National Conference in Midrand, Joburg, will suffer the proverbial chickens coming home to roost. Elections are always a numbers game and so will be the elective conference.

Who will be the next elected ANC President? Will it be former competent cabinet member of various portfolios and AU Chair, Dr Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma, or the former trade-unionist-come-negotiator at Codesa-come-wealthy-businessman-come-politician, Mr Cyril Ramaphosa? Both are successful in their own right with a track record to back it up.

The road ahead until the final outcome will be rocky and dirty with many obstacles schemed up by think tanks and their hitmen. Horse-trading and deep pockets will have their influence too. Allegedly, millions have changed accounts.

Long-standing, respected ANC NEC members have raised several questions, “Will the ANC’s history at Codesa play itself out? Who sold out and who did not?

“Who benefited from secret meetings and talks behind closed doors since 1990? Who was compromised? Is the ANC’s large following misled without realising it? Why did the new, democratically elected ANC-led government under President Nelson Mandela accept not to have a finance minister, or a Governor of the Reserve Bank? Why was the ousted apartheid regime’s push to keep the Treasury as well as the Reserve Bank, accepted?”

“The ANC further accepted grand apartheid’s “secret sunset clauses” to create and protect minority groups against the broad majority of the population. Add structured poverty - and the ANC as well as the supporting indigenous majority of South Africa’s population was checkmated with no access to the economy, remaining in abject poverty.”

Researcher and writer Phapano Phasha wrote under the title, The ANC did not sell out: “It was Cyril Ramaphosa who removed Thabo Mbeki as head of negotiations and Jacob Zuma as head of intelligence in July 1993 at the ANC NEC meeting, in absentia.

"Ramaphosa went on to head the negotiations, particularly constitutional transition and (SACP) Joe Slovo the programme of sale of land on the basis of ‘willing seller, willing buyer’.

“It was Pravin Gordhan in 1993, appointed by Cyril Ramaphosa, who chaired the then Transitional Executive Council, which agreed to pay the $83billion debt accumulated by the illegitimate apartheid government of FW de Klerk, Botha and Malan (the apartheid debt).

“In the same NEC meeting of 1993, Ramaphosa appointed Trevor Manuel to head the ‘ANC Economic Planning Portfolio’. This team included Tito Mboweni and Ketzo Gordhan (Pravin’s nephew).”

A senior ANC NEC and military veteran from exile explained, “The main culprit in all the manipulations was the SACP’s Joe Slovo. He controlled Ramaphosa. He even misled him to decline a Minister of Foreign Affairs post. To our surprise, Slovo accepted Housing. He (Slovo) pushed CR (as Cyril Ramaphosa is now being called) to champion the compromise. Unfortunately, Mandela became aware of all these very late to change course.”

It seems, despite the massive support from the corporate sector, Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa was not yet able to beat his competitor, Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma. According to recent branch monitors, Ramaphosa has fallen behind, as Dlamini Zuma rakes in the numbers.

Meanwhile, the Premier League came out strong in favour of Dlamini Zuma. According to the ANC NEC and the PECs, most of the premiers have made contact with Dlamini Zuma to assure her of their support. Allegedly, Dr Zweli Mkhize, who left the Ramaphosa team and does not enjoy the political wilderness, could join Dlamini Zuma . Has he set his eyes on the deputy presidency?

Presidential hopefuls such as the experienced Jeff Radebe could be out of the race and out of a position after the December conference.

Baleka Mbete and her support team led by former cabinet minister Siphiwe Nyanda seem set to retire from political life.

Lindiwe Sisulu, daughter of revered Walter and Albertina Sisulu, is an ANC veteran too. Her attempt as a presidential hopeful is interesting. But she will probably not be able to get the votes needed to become the next ANC president. Sisulu is simply not known.

Initially, Ramaphosa’s countrywide elections campaign seemed to have massive support. But of late his campaign seems to be losing momentum and worse, many votes across the country.

It could be expected that the ANC will be heading towards more court cases, intense efforts to stall and hinder the ANC Conference actually taking place in December. Corporate interests and their think tanks will have gone into overdrive by now.

If Ramaphosa wins these elections, what would be the implications for the ANC? Would the president be taken out and the ANC weakened? As far as timing is concerned, why structure presidential and national elections immediately after the ANC conference? Would the ANC be split up into smaller parties after much infighting?

* Froese is a non-institutionalised, independent political and socio-economic analyst and published columnist, based in Joburg.

** The views expressed here are not necessarily those of Independent Media.

The Sunday Independent