Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa File picture: Mike Hutchings/Reuters
Johannesburg – The South African National Civic Organisation (Sanco) on Saturday officially endorsed Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa to take over from President Jacob Zuma as African National Congress president at the ANC’s December 2017 elective conference.

In a statement issued after Sanco’s national executive committee (NEC) meeting in Johannesburg this weekend, Sanco general secretary Skhumbuzo Mpanza called for sensitivity in handling the leadership nomination processes of the leader of the alliance (of the ANC, the SA Communist Party, the Congress of SA Trade Unions, and Sanco).

Sanco believed it was important for the ANC to emerge from the December conference with a “leadership collective that will see the revolutionary movement” regain the lost ground seen in the August 3, 2016 municipal elections.

“Our analysis for the coming ANC elective conference in December 2017 is a potential for further deepened divisions in the movement. We thus request every member of our movement, especially leadership, to apply a sober, critical thinking on how should we approach the 54th ANC conference,” he said.

“We fear most the after effects that might even affect us in the 2019 national elections which we cannot afford to reach with a cracked organisation.

“Among our major interests is who becomes the president of the country as this will determine the life and survival of our communities. Thus our understanding is that, as Sanco, the only way we can determine the president of the country is to influence the election of the ANC president.

“We therefore believe that the most feasible way to retain unity and cohesion in our movement is to allow the current deputy president of the ANC to ascend to ANC president in the upcoming national conference in December,” Mpanza said.

“We strongly believe this will help to deliver a most united ANC in the elections in 2019 and beyond. Furthermore, we trust the experience and capabilities that comrade Cyril Ramaphosa has in the presidential office which can benefit our movement and the society at large.

“This is the view we hold and as a matter of urgency we shall engage and persuade the leadership of the ANC on such.” Sanco further believed that the leadership collective should be made up by a united team determined to “pull the organisation out of the current quagmire”, Mpanza said.