Nomination not end of succession question, says Zweli Mkhize
The ANC succession question would be decided through intense negotiations, trade-offs and lobbying even after the nomination process had concluded, ANC treasurer-general Zweli Mkhize said on Thursday.
Branch meetings have been held to discuss the leadership question over the past few weeks and actual nominations are now being tabled in the party’s 4,723 branches.
Mkhize and various provincial chairmen have been pushing for a "unitary" approach to ANC leadership to minimise contestation and eliminate slate politics.
While ANC deputy president Cyril Ramaphosa and MP Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma remained frontrunners for the post, Mkhize has also signalled his intention to contest for the presidency, with the likely backing of Mpumalanga chairman David Mabuza.
Even after branches had finished their nominations, there would be trade-offs and negotiations to minimise factional battles, Mkhize said.
Such an approach could see the likes of Mkhize deputising the winning candidate, even though he may not appear on that faction’s preferred slate.
While Mkhize has become the "face" of the unity approach, his detractors have argued that he is a Trojan horse candidate, who will replace Dlamini-Zuma as President Jacob Zuma’s preferred successor come December.
But Mkhize said in an interview with Business Day that there were no "proxy" candidates for any leader in the ANC’s succession race, but rather there were branches that would decide on party leadership. He explained
that branches were told that they should not adopt a winner-takes-all approach based on slates, but the candidate with the second-largest number of votes should be considered for nomination for another top post.
Reacting to the recent cabinet reshuffle, Mkhize said ANC officials intended convening an urgent meeting with the South African Communist Party (SACP).
He echoed comments by ANC secretary-general Gwede Mantashe on Tuesday that the "rapidity and frequency" of executive shake-ups had a negative affect on perceptions and governance. This is after Zuma axed SACP general secretary Blade Nzimande as higher education minister in Tuesday’s reshuffle.