Presidential hopeful Lindiwe Sisulu will settle for ANC deputy
The human settlements minister says the branches put her on Ramaphosa’s slate
Human Settlements Minister Lindiwe Sisulu says she will stand for the position of deputy president of the ANC in line with the wishes of branches.
She has, however, not ruled out standing for other positions should delegates to the elective conference, which starts on Saturday in Johannesburg, decide to go a different route.
Sisulu received the highest number of nominations for the deputy presidency in Gauteng, Limpopo, the Western Cape and Northern Cape, while her name made it to the nominations lists in all provinces.
But her campaign was targeting the highest office in the governing party.
Sisulu said that by nominating her, the branches had also decided to put her back
on Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa’s slate, which she had distanced herself from weeks ago. The minister had taken exception to Ramaphosa’s campaigners including her name in their list of candidates in the early stages of lobbying without consulting her.
"I felt very offended because it literally decampaigned me.
"But as soon as the idea landed on people’s minds — it seemed like the most natural choice …. and who am I to say no," she said in an interview with Business Day.
Ramaphosa later announced Science and Technology Minister Naledi Pandor as his preferred candidate for the deputy president position.
Sisulu said she was certain the gathering would be a success despite allegations of vote buying and several court actions currently playing out.
ANC members and leaders were looking at the bigger picture, she said. "Deep inside all of us is a love of the organisation, over and above any individual. Immediately after the conference, we have to make sure that we start campaigning for the 2019 elections, I don’t think that we are going to be sidetracked by anything else."
A pact was made at the last ANC national executive committee meeting that all leaders would do all in their power to ensure the conference succeeded, she said
Among the efforts that she would undertake to ensure the party emerged successful at the 2019 polls was to fight against corruption.
She championed a social compact between the government and business that would keep both in check, ensuring there were mechanisms for combating corruption within the private sector too.
The idea received little support when she first pitched it while she was public service and administration minister.
Sisulu said if it had been in place corruption and irregularities in business, like the Steinhoff scandal, would have been averted.