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Lindiwe Sisulu’s contentious opinion piece a launch pad into ANC presidential race – analyst

ANC NEC member and presidential hopeful Lindiwe Sisulu. Picture: Chris Collingridge /African News Agency (ANA) Archive

ANC NEC member and presidential hopeful Lindiwe Sisulu. Picture: Chris Collingridge /African News Agency (ANA) Archive

Published Jan 14, 2022

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Johannesburg - Cabinet Minister and senior ANC member Lindiwe Sisulu contentious opinion piece criticising South Africa’s Constitution is her clear launch pad into the race for the party’s presidency which will culminate at the 55th national conference, a political analyst says.

Political analyst Ralph Mathekga said that Sisulu’s opinion piece, which has come under much scrutiny and has been deemed as an insult to not only the integrity of the judiciary, but to African judges by Acting Chief Justice Raymond Zondo, appears to be her entrance card into the race for the party’s top job.

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Although a long-standing member of the ANC’s democratic government, Mathekga said that Sisuslu now appeared to be distancing herself from the very same administration she is serving in.

“Usually when you see political leaders doing it, it means they believe that they stand for something and they want to be seen as standing for something else… this is the first step towards that,” Mathekga said.

He said that it should be expected that the already well-entrenched factions within the party will also come out to endorse candidates even if the party discourages those activities.

Despite former president Jacob Zuma’s son having made no secret of his ambition to become ANC president with his DZ22 campaign, there have been views that Sisulu could be looking to win over the RET faction of the party which would be expected to back Duduzane, who in December was elected chairperson of the ANC’s ward 11 branch in Newlands East, Durban.

“If It’s an available voting block and has no one who is a proponent and she sees that empty space, probably that is what she is doing. The reality is that these are all ANC members, these are all factions and even a good faction is still a faction.

“At the end of the day the ANC is divided and people are seeing an opportunity to say they can build the political party and they have campaigns on the basis of these divisions,” Mathekga said.

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He further said that the challenge was that the RET faction did appear to have a credible representative, given the ongoing suspension of ANC secretary-general Ace Magashule, who is struggling with legal matters and has almost been completely kicked out of party platforms.

At the weekend during the ANC’s January 8 Statement, President Cyril Ramaphosa was given an open endorsement for re-election by Limpopo Premier and ANC provincial chairperson Stanley Mathabatha who referred to Ramaphosa as a “son of the soil”. He said that branches of the ANC in the province had declared their support for Ramaphosa’s leadership.

Mathabatha also said that following the successful holding of four regional conferences in the province, in Vhembe, Peter Mokaba, Sekhukhune and Norman Mashabane regions, the regions in the province had put their weight behind Ramaphosa.

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Political Bureau

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