Cyril Ramaphosa’s naming of his potential leadership team was a risky, but strategic move. On Sunday he named science & technology minister Naledi Pandor as his preferred deputy and former KwaZulu Natal ANC chairman Senzo Mchunu as secretary-general, with Thoko Didiza as Mchunu’s deputy. Gauteng chairman Paul Mashatile is his pick for treasurer-general when the ANC elects new leaders in December, with current secretary-general Gwede Mantashe as ANC national chairman. While Ramaphosa was chastised by Luthuli House for naming a "slate" — the leaders aligned to a presidential bid — and taking away the right of branches to decide on their leaders, he was doing publicly what the Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma faction has been doing for months. Ramaphosa’s move indicates a willingness to depart from the strict and archaic method of leadership contestation in the ANC that has effectively caused the near collapse of internal democracy in the party. Effectively, he has broken an unwritten rule in a ...

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