Ramaphosa is Mazibuko’s pick for ANC leader, but will the conference happen?
Former DA parliamentary leader Lindiwe Mazibuko says she supports ANC presidential hopeful Cyril Ramaphosa to lead the governing party.
Speaking at a panel discussion on Tuesday on the role of business in SA‚ Mazibuko explained why it would be better for Ramaphosa to win the ANC elective conference rather than President Jacob Zuma’s preferred candidate.
Zuma has publicly endorsed former AU Commission chief Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma to replace him as ANC president‚ which would be likely to elevate her to the country’s top job.
"Unlike Deputy President Ramaphosa‚ who I am supporting — it is not a life and death issue for Ramaphosa but it is for Jacob Zuma‚ if like Schabir Shaik before him‚ he lands up in court and is prosecuted for the 783 charges he faces‚" said Mazibuko.
"President Zuma’s focus is on ensuring that the provinces are in order: not legal order‚ but order to get his candidate elected. If they are not in that order‚ that election will be deferred‚" said Mazibuko.
She said ANC insiders had informed her that unless Zuma got his way‚ the chances of the ANC hosting its elective conference in December were slim.
Mazibuko said she likened Zuma to Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe‚ who is said to be "sleepist" when it comes to dealing with issues of Zimbabwe, but was always "up and alive" when it came to discussing issues of security‚ the police‚ military and the electoral commission of his country.
"I think of President Zuma in the same way. When talk of what is happening in the structures of the ANC takes place‚ I have heard it repeatedly said that that is when he wakes up and that is when he takes interest‚" said Mazibuko.
She said Zuma was not concerned about the economy because he had it under his control.
"President Zuma loses sleep‚ more than anything‚ about the internal [matters] of the ANC that will facilitate the transition that will keep him out of jail. That’s his number one concern," Mazibuko said.
"He is determined to make sure‚ either by delaying the congress so that he can be the leader [in] continuity and allows everybody to pour oil on the boiling waters of the internal conflict of the ANC‚ or to make sure he only goes to congress in December once he has the majority for his candidate‚ that’s it. Those are the only two options for President Zuma‚" Mazibuko said.