The former MEC for health in Gauteng, Gwen Ramokgopa, is apparently the preferred candidate of President Cyril Ramaphosa’s ANC faction to take over as secretary-general in December.
Ramokgopa also served as mayor of Tshwane from 2006 to 2010 and was deputy minister of health under Aaron Motsoaledi.Then deputy president Ramaphosa with the SANAC trustees, then deputy minister of health Dr Gwen Ramokgopa at the announcement of the new SANAC trustees at a plenary meeting held at Protea Hotel OR Tambo Airport in 2015. Photo: GCIS
She is a loyal ally of Ramaphosa and serves on the ANC’s National Working Committee (NWC).
Her election to the NWC in March last year, ahead of the RET-affiliated Ayanda Dlodlo, played a key role in the committee’s adoption of the ANC resolution that ANC members charged with crimes should be suspended until the complaint has been settled.
The adoption of that resolution led to the suspension of the party’s current elected secretary-general, Ace Magashule, who is facing more than 70 charges of fraud, corruption and money laundering.
City Press reported last week that Magashule’s chances of being re-elected to this influential position at the ANC congress in December were slim because his court cases would not be finalised by then.
In contrast, ANC stalwarts like Zweli Mkhize (former treasurer-general of the party), and Supra Mahumapelo (the former premier of the North West), are already starting to gain support in what sources claim will be attempts to take over Magashule’s post.Zweli Mkhize is riding high since he left Cabinet. Photo Darren Steward
Tensions are already running high within the ANC’s national executive committee (NEC) because some of the committee members believe that Ramokgopa is already taking over the responsibilities of secretary-general at Luthuli House, the ANC’s head office.
Treasurer-general of the ANC, Paul Mashatile, made it clear at the party’s previous NEC meeting that he needed help with the management of the head office after Magashule’s suspension and the sick leave of deputy secretary-general Jessie Duarte.
An RET source who worked under Magashule at Luthuli House said when asked:It makes no sense to bring someone in from outside (to the head office).
“There are already full time staff. Someone like comrade Nomvula (Mokonyane) is the head of planning at the party and works in the head office. She also serves on the NWC, so we do not understand why she cannot assist the TG (treasurer-general).”
The source claims that the planned deployment of Ramokgopa is a tactic by Ramaphosa’s faction to exercise control over the activities of the party’s head office.
“The president now wants to have the control he exercises over the cabinet from his presidency…the same control over the ANC.”
Ramokgopa’s nephew, Kgosientso Ramokgopa, is head of investment and infrastructure in the presidency.
However, ANC sources close to the presidency deny that the president wants to take control of Luthuli House, but acknowledge that Ramokgopa is considered a candidate for the post of secretary-general.She has experience at local and provincial government level, and was also a deputy minister,” one source said in favour of Ramokgopa. She also serves on the NEC and on the NWC, so we consider her a very capable candidate.
Asked why Senzo Mchunu, the minister of water and sanitation, or Mondli Gungubele, minister in the presidency, were not nominated, the source replied that the president regarded them as his “most loyal allies” in the cabinet.
“The president believes these two ministers will be better utilised to serve in the cabinet,” the source said.