THE ANC in Sekhukhune has downplayed suggestions that party presidential hopeful Cyril Ramaphosa enjoys massive support in the region and would be their preferred candidate for the December elective conference.
The region’s secretary Jerry Maseko said the notion might be derived from individuals but the region has not yet proclaimed on who they would be backing.
This came as ANC Treasurer General Zweli Mkhize, seen as a Ramaphosa ally, visited Sekhukhune over the weekend to help the region understands the processes leading to the conference.
Maseko said the processes included emphasising the party’s through the eye of the needle principle and what they should consider when they deal with issues of conferences, policy development and leadership.
“We don’t know what informs the notion that Sekhukhune is a Cyril Ramaphosa stronghold. Maybe they are looking at individual views and that analysis is not informed. The only conclusion you can draw is when branches have met and nominated,” he said.
The belief was amplified when Sekhukhune District Mayor Stan Ramaila was elected as regional chairperson last month.
He is seen as a Ramaphosa ally but Maseko maintains that the regional executive committee (REC) will be guided by the outcomes of branch general meetings.
“I can become a chairperson of a branch but find that my branch doesn’t want who I prefer. People have a right to lobby for whoever they want. No one can claim that Sekhukhune unequivocally supports Nkosazana [Dlamini-Zuma] or CR17. We have not reached that stage. Until the branches are done and we are sure of where they stand then we can make pronouncements,” said Maseko.
He said the region took a decision to let the upcoming policy conference guide its selection processes.
He said the policies that will be adopted will determine who is better suited to lead the organisation.
“We have said as Sekhukhune that let us go to the policy conference first. Let’s check the policies we are recommending and say out of that, who are the better-placed people who can lead them. We refuse to be
informed by the national dynamics and we know we are a region so we are taking things at a regional level,”
Maseko again cautioned region against allowing the succession battle to divide it. He said choosing sides between Dlamini-Zuma and Ramaphosa has been the downfall of many regions and they did not want to see the same thing happening in Sekhukhune.
“We must follow processes of the ANC correctly. Regions collapse because of the Nkosazana and CR17 contest. You can imagine how we are harming the organisation because of individuals. We are going to put the interest of the ANC at the center before anything else. If we don’t do that we will end up going back to 2007 in Polokwane and Mangaung with muddied processes. Even after the conference, we must come back as a collective and head to 2019 united,” he said.
Maseko added that once the region starts with the nomination process they will take the mandate to the provincial conference and convince the rest of the regions to come up with a united list.
He said one of their tasks was to ensure that there is consensus in the province heading to the December conference.
“We don’t want to divide the organisation in the region on the basis of preferences as the REC. We are still emphasising that instead of deciding who we want and not, let’s work to convince other provinces to say let’s not have a contestation as a matter of principle to ensure whoever comes in is a matter of consensus,” he said.