Pretoria - Despite the ANC radical economic transformation (RET) faction aligned to former president Jacob Zuma dominating in KwaZulu-Natal and a Limpopo provincial chairperson endorsing President Cyril Ramaphosa for a second term, it’s not yet clear which slate will emerge victorious at the 55th elective conference expected to take place in December.
This is according to political analyst Ralph Mathekga, who says the road to the conference is difficult for its own players to master.
Mathekga’s views come against the backdrop of the RET faction getting a clean sweep at KZN’s fourth largest regional conference on Sunday, when the wife of Water and Sanitation Minister Senzo Mchunu, Thembeka Mchunu, failed dismally to win the region after contesting the position of chairperson.
Senzo is a Ramaphosa loyalist and was backing his wife to be elected chairperson of the Musa Dladla region. However, she lost to Musa Cebekhulu, who is widely known to be a Zuma ally.
Mchunu was beaten hands down by Cebekhulu, who was nominated on the floor, sending shock waves across the conference.
In Limpopo, ANC chairperson Stan Mathabatha publicly endorsed Ramaphosa during the party’s 110th anniversary gathering in January.
Mpumalanga also seems divided, according to Mathekga, who said those who were elected in the top five were masquerading as Ramaphosa’s supporters for ”survival” and “opportunities”.
Speaking to Pretoria News yesterday, Mathekga said no one could say which faction was doing well.
He said: “This is not a coherent campaign where it's clear where provinces stand. The road to this conference is so difficult for the players to master because there are so many factors playing out at the same time.
“For example, there are people in the top five in Mpumalanga who are not necessarily CR but are just trying to survive by saying they are CR because they are looking for opportunities. Provinces have their own specific problems and they react differently.
“In KZN, it’s a political game.”
He said despite the promises from Mathabatha in Limpopo to support Ramaphosa, that might change due to political dynamics.
“What has Ramaphosa promised Limpopo? Things might change (in) view of the VBS scandal.The North West has its own problems that cannot be compared to Mpumalanga.
“There are certain groups that might not necessarily support CR but are not RET as well, but are just concerned that processes will have a challenge with the Zondo Commission’s report.
“We are going to end up with a very crazy conference where you have many issues worrying provinces to a point that it will be very difficult to predict what issues would be at play.”