Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma is vying for the ANC presidency. Picture: David Ritchie/ANA
Durban - ANC national executive committee (NEC) member Bheki Cele fired a salvo at President Jacob Zuma, accusing him of destroying his own dream of having the party rule until Jesus Christ returns by “anointing” Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma as his successor.

Addressing hundreds of supporters of Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa at Esikhawini in Empangeni, on the KwaZulu-Natal’s north coast, the deputy minister of agriculture also accused Zuma of ruling the country through corruption with his relationship with the Guptas.

“The ANC is not a family project where your family member is ordained to be the next leader.

“This is not your kingdom. Only the king can anoint his successor, not you because you are a leader.”

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Cele sarcastically told the crowd, who filled the hall at the Esikhawini TVET College, that he had not decided who to support to be elected as the next ANC president in December, because “the branches have not yet nominated”.

However, he said he supported an ANC 1949 resolution that stated that the deputy president should be the next leader.

“It is just a coincidence that while I talk about the ANC culture, you are supporting the deputy president to be the next leader,” he said.

He said rampant corruption and the incident when “the Guptas landed at Water­kloof military base for their wedding” had led to the ANC losing key Metros such as Tshwane, Johannesburg and Nelson Mandela Bay.

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Cele said when he was deployed to campaign for the local government elections in Nelson Mandela Bay he had first-hand experience of how corruption could unseat the ANC from its traditional support base.

“I lived in Nelson Mandela Bay, and I did door-to-door (campaigning) but we were defeated.

“After the elections the ANC conducted research to find out why we lost. People told us that they did not vote for us because we are arrogant, corrupt and aloof.

“This means the ANC is not ordained to rule until Jesus comes back, and therefore we should be humble and listen to people,” said Cele.

He also detailed how the NEC had on Friday dealt with the Pietermaritzburg High Court ruling that nullified the 2015 conference that elected the KwaZulu-Natal executive committee.

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He said a large majority of NEC members were in support of the disbandment of the PEC. “There were a few others who were saying the PEC should not be disbanded; instead it should converted into the provincial task team (PTT), but the majority said it should be disbanded and an inclusive PTT must be formed,” he said.

Cele said the decision on whether to appeal against the judgment or not will be taken when the NEC meets again next weekend.

He said to go to the national conference with a PEC that is embroiled in an appeal would endanger the outcome of the conference.

“The danger is that, like the provincial conference, the national conference would be open to a legal challenge,” Cele said.

The Mercury