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Mkhize, Sisulu and Magashule alliance taking shape to snatch ANC from Ramaphosa

The ANC leadership race will see some senior members trying to build a formidable team to go against party president Cyril Ramaphosa and his lobby group at the party’s national elective conference in December.

There might be an alliance brewing between Tourism Minister Lindiwe Sisulu and ANC national executive committee (NEC) member Zweli Mkhize. Suspended ANC secretary-general Ace Magashule’s supporters are lobbying for him to be in the running if he manages to shake off all the charges he faces in connection with the multimillion-rand asbestos roofing project scandal in the Free State while he was premier of the province.

LINDIWE SISULU

A source in Mkhize’s camp told City Press that there was a push from structures in KwaZulu-Natal to link the former health minister with Sisulu in the hope that the ANC would have its first woman president.

“Comrades have approached Sisulu and Mkhize and asked them to consider accepting nominations when the official process starts for deployment into the top six. It was ordinary comrades who approached Sisulu and Mkhize and brought them together.

“Comrades in the branches have agreed that Sisulu should be persuaded and supported, as a matter of principle, to be the next president of the ANC. The comrades met with her because she’s an ANC national executive committee member deployed to KwaZulu-Natal. The two leaders have been seen publicly together in official ANC engagements as NEC leaders.”

The source explained that this would be a vote of confidence in the capacity of women to lead the country and would coincide with the country celebrating 30 years of democracy.Actually, some comrades have gone even further and warned that it’s an indictment on the ANC that, 110 years after its formation, it’s still never elected a woman as its president.

“Comrades are discussing the importance of having a leader as a woman under the topic ‘The future is female’. They say men have played their roles and it’s time for women to take the country forward and usher in a new era of socioeconomic development,” he said.

ZWELI MKHIZE

Mkhize is said to be preoccupied with the allegations he faces regarding the Digital Vibes corruption scandal.

The source explained that Mkhize was not gunning for any particular position, but that the ANC KwaZulu-Natal structures believed he was fit enough to represent them at national level.

So far, he has been backed by ward 1 in KwaXimba, which has up to 4 000 members. He has been spotted speaking at one of their gatherings.

However, since resigning from his post as minister of health, Mkhize has devoted all his energy to clearing his name ahead of the ANC’s elective conference.Zweli Mkhize is riding high since he left Cabinet.Zweli Mkhize is riding high since he left Cabinet. Photo Darren Steward

He was forced to abruptly halt his government career after the Special Investigating Unit found that he, his family and close associates had improperly benefited from an irregular tender.

It also found that the department had incurred fruitless and wasteful expenditure of at least R37 million in respect of payments made to Digital Vibes.

In addition, it found that Mkhize’s wife had received R1.5 million and that Digital Vibes had paid more than R6 000 for repairs at Mkhize’s home, transferred R300 000 cash to his son Dedani and had bought a R160 000 Land Cruiser for use on Dedani’s farm in Pietermaritzburg.

READ: Zweli Mkhize fights back

“Actually, Mkhize’s reluctantly attending these meetings where he’s being persuaded to be one of the top six.

“After each meeting, he’s asked to address comrades, but he declines, as he wants to focus on the Digital Vibes matter. He believes that the matter must be managed using the normal legal processes and he’s confident that he’ll be exonerated and that the truth will finally prevail,” said the source.

“Nevertheless, some comrades, who last interacted with him when he was the ANC provincial chairperson, have been asked to persuade him to avail himself for public engagements, as there are fears that he’ll disappear from the public eye. He remains one of the most experienced leaders administratively and politically.

“Even at his surprise birthday party [last month], he didn’t want to speak, but was persuaded to do so.

“He didn’t even want to give interviews, until it was explained that the team interviewing him had been assigned by the family to record and keep the recordings for them,” the source explained.

He added that Mkhize had the ability to unite all factions in a common programme of action of the ANC, a goal the party had had difficulty achieving over the past few years.

ACE MAGASHULE

While his hands might be tied because of the criminal charges hanging over his head, Magashule has not ruled out the possibility of contesting in the governing party’s conference at the end of the year.

He has been fighting tooth and nail for the charges against him to be dropped, with one of his close allies saying the suspended secretary-general would like another opportunity to be in the ANC top six, even if he is not elected president.Ace Magashule. Photo: Jabu KumaloAce Magashule. Photo: Jabu Kumalo

Magashule is plotting to be in on the Sisulu-Mkhize alliance if it materialises, but has reservations about other alliances that would have to be formed to make this possible.

His scepticism centres on KwaZulu-Natal treasurer Nomusa Dube-Ncube, who has a strong relationship with Mkhize and is supposed to galvanise the provincial structures to support the slate.

“Nomusa’s contesting the chairperson position and is likely to win. She’s supposed to help Mkhize get good backing from KwaZulu-Natal, but [Magashule] doesn’t trust her. They’ve never had a good understanding, so it’s difficult to say what might happen,” said one of his allies.

The source said there had been meetings between Magashule and Sisulu where she had negotiated becoming the presidential candidate if they did end up on the same slate.

However, Sisulu’s spokesperson in the tourism department, Steve Motale, denied this, saying: “There are no such talks at the moment. From time to time, Minister Sisulu meets with many leaders of the movement to discuss various challenges facing the ANC, mainly factionalism and the changing character of the party. She has indeed been approached by several structures of the ANC to avail herself for leadership of the party.

“She’s currently applying her mind to her matter and, out of respect for the ANC’s internal processes, she’ll make an announcement in this regard when the time is right,” he said. 

–City Press

The ANC leadership race will see some senior members trying to build a formidable team to go against party president Cyril Ramaphosa and his lobby group at the party’s national elective conference in December.

There might be an alliance brewing between Tourism Minister Lindiwe Sisulu and ANC national executive committee (NEC) member Zweli Mkhize. Suspended ANC secretary-general Ace Magashule’s supporters are lobbying for him to be in the running if he manages to shake off all the charges he faces in connection with the multimillion-rand asbestos roofing project scandal in the Free State while he was premier of the province.

LINDIWE SISULU

A source in Mkhize’s camp told City Press that there was a push from structures in KwaZulu-Natal to link the former health minister with Sisulu in the hope that the ANC would have its first woman president.

“Comrades have approached Sisulu and Mkhize and asked them to consider accepting nominations when the official process starts for deployment into the top six. It was ordinary comrades who approached Sisulu and Mkhize and brought them together.

“Comrades in the branches have agreed that Sisulu should be persuaded and supported, as a matter of principle, to be the next president of the ANC. The comrades met with her because she’s an ANC national executive committee member deployed to KwaZulu-Natal. The two leaders have been seen publicly together in official ANC engagements as NEC leaders.”

The source explained that this would be a vote of confidence in the capacity of women to lead the country and would coincide with the country celebrating 30 years of democracy.Actually, some comrades have gone even further and warned that it’s an indictment on the ANC that, 110 years after its formation, it’s still never elected a woman as its president.

“Comrades are discussing the importance of having a leader as a woman under the topic ‘The future is female’. They say men have played their roles and it’s time for women to take the country forward and usher in a new era of socioeconomic development,” he said.

ZWELI MKHIZE

Mkhize is said to be preoccupied with the allegations he faces regarding the Digital Vibes corruption scandal.

The source explained that Mkhize was not gunning for any particular position, but that the ANC KwaZulu-Natal structures believed he was fit enough to represent them at national level.

So far, he has been backed by ward 1 in KwaXimba, which has up to 4 000 members. He has been spotted speaking at one of their gatherings.

However, since resigning from his post as minister of health, Mkhize has devoted all his energy to clearing his name ahead of the ANC’s elective conference.Zweli Mkhize is riding high since he left Cabinet.Zweli Mkhize is riding high since he left Cabinet. Photo Darren Steward

He was forced to abruptly halt his government career after the Special Investigating Unit found that he, his family and close associates had improperly benefited from an irregular tender.

It also found that the department had incurred fruitless and wasteful expenditure of at least R37 million in respect of payments made to Digital Vibes.

In addition, it found that Mkhize’s wife had received R1.5 million and that Digital Vibes had paid more than R6 000 for repairs at Mkhize’s home, transferred R300 000 cash to his son Dedani and had bought a R160 000 Land Cruiser for use on Dedani’s farm in Pietermaritzburg.

“Actually, Mkhize’s reluctantly attending these meetings where he’s being persuaded to be one of the top six.

“After each meeting, he’s asked to address comrades, but he declines, as he wants to focus on the Digital Vibes matter. He believes that the matter must be managed using the normal legal processes and he’s confident that he’ll be exonerated and that the truth will finally prevail,” said the source.

“Nevertheless, some comrades, who last interacted with him when he was the ANC provincial chairperson, have been asked to persuade him to avail himself for public engagements, as there are fears that he’ll disappear from the public eye. He remains one of the most experienced leaders administratively and politically.

“Even at his surprise birthday party [last month], he didn’t want to speak, but was persuaded to do so.

“He didn’t even want to give interviews, until it was explained that the team interviewing him had been assigned by the family to record and keep the recordings for them,” the source explained.

He added that Mkhize had the ability to unite all factions in a common programme of action of the ANC, a goal the party had had difficulty achieving over the past few years.

ACE MAGASHULE

While his hands might be tied because of the criminal charges hanging over his head, Magashule has not ruled out the possibility of contesting in the governing party’s conference at the end of the year.

He has been fighting tooth and nail for the charges against him to be dropped, with one of his close allies saying the suspended secretary-general would like another opportunity to be in the ANC top six, even if he is not elected president.Ace Magashule. Photo: Jabu KumaloAce Magashule. Photo: Jabu Kumalo

Magashule is plotting to be in on the Sisulu-Mkhize alliance if it materialises, but has reservations about other alliances that would have to be formed to make this possible.

His scepticism centres on KwaZulu-Natal treasurer Nomusa Dube-Ncube, who has a strong relationship with Mkhize and is supposed to galvanise the provincial structures to support the slate.

“Nomusa’s contesting the chairperson position and is likely to win. She’s supposed to help Mkhize get good backing from KwaZulu-Natal, but [Magashule] doesn’t trust her. They’ve never had a good understanding, so it’s difficult to say what might happen,” said one of his allies.

The source said there had been meetings between Magashule and Sisulu where she had negotiated becoming the presidential candidate if they did end up on the same slate.

However, Sisulu’s spokesperson in the tourism department, Steve Motale, denied this, saying: “There are no such talks at the moment. From time to time, Minister Sisulu meets with many leaders of the movement to discuss various challenges facing the ANC, mainly factionalism and the changing character of the party. She has indeed been approached by several structures of the ANC to avail herself for leadership of the party.

“She’s currently applying her mind to her matter and, out of respect for the ANC’s internal processes, she’ll make an announcement in this regard when the time is right,” he said. 

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