Durban - None of the contenders for the ANC’s top six positions at its upcoming 55th National Elective Conference have received the backing of its Tripartite Alliance partner Cosatu, including the sitting President Cyril Ramaphosa who is seeking re-election.
The federation on Wednesday announced that claims that it had pronounced on preferred candidates were untrue. The move is yet another indicator of the friction between the alliance partners.
This comes as the battle for the leadership of the ANC, which is now nine days away from kicking off at Nasrec Expo Centre, has intensified in recent weeks.
Cosatu’s pronouncement comes as incumbent President Cyril Ramaphosa, who previously enjoyed Cosatu’s support ahead of the ANC’s 54th National Elective Conference in December 2017, faces an uncertain future as head of state due to the Phala Phala theft scandal.
Cosatu’s national spokesperson Sizwe Pamla on Wednesday said that they had noted media reports claiming that the federation has pronounced on its preferred candidates for leadership in the upcoming ANC 55th National Conference.
“This is not accurate, and the federation would like to correct any misunderstanding. The Cosatu 14th National Congress and the Central Executive Committee(CEC) meeting that was convened last week did not discuss issues of leadership with regards to the upcoming ANC Conference.
“This means that the federation has not formally endorsed any candidate including President Cyril Ramaphosa. The federation has consciously decided to remain neutral on issues of leadership and focus on conference policy outcomes and organisational resolutions,” Pamla said.
He said that the federation would therefore not be campaigning for any candidate, but would instead support all those elected by the conference.
“We wish the ANC well in its conference and we look forward to working with the elected collective to help reconstruct the ANC, and contribute to a robust process of Alliance reconfiguration,” Pamla said.
In recent months Pamla has described the relationship between the federation and the ANC as not healthy, as they were not seeing eye-to-eye over promises made ahead of the 2019 elections.