The Congress of SA Trade Unions (Cosatu) has formally entered the ANC succession debate, announcing on Thursday that it would back Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa to take over the reigns of the ruling party.
“The central executive committee resolved to support and lobby for the the Deputy President of the ANC, Cyril Ramaphosa to take over as the next president of the ANC,” secretary Bheki Ntshalintshali told reporters in Johannesburg following the three-day meeting of the federation’s central executive committee.
“We are mindful of the fact that we are not a voting structure of the ANC but we represent workers, who are members and supporters of the ANC.”
The ANC’s 2017 national conference would see the party branches elect their preferred successor to President Jacob Zuma, who is facing mounting pressure to step down.
With the party having lost control of three of the country’s metros in the August local government elections, Zuma’s detractors fear that support for Africa’s oldest liberation movement would drop further in the 2019 general elections should he remain at the helm.
Zuma has stuck to his guns, indicating that he will stay put as party leader. The party would weather the present storm and emerge united, he has claimed.
Ntshalintshali said the party should do away with slates and factions towards the 2017 conference.
“We shall work to lobby and influence ANC strucrures to support comrade Cyril Ramaphosa as the next leader of the movement. We shall continue to further reflect and engage on the calibre of the leadership collective will work with him to take the movement into the future.”
The contentious succession debate has seen the ANCYL in Kwazulu-Natal backing outgoing African Union Commission chair Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma. Dlamini-Zuma has not yet indicated whether she accepted the endorsement, but has said that as a member of the ANC, she would accept whatever was asked of her by the branches of the ruling party.
African News Agency