As in 2007, the media and most people appear to be caught up within the propaganda of the warring factions so you will need to drill down into the problems and unpack the present “stability of forces”.
First printed within the Every day Maverick 168 weekly newspaper.
The ANC’s 2007 convention in Polokwane is extensively considered a watershed second for quite a lot of causes. Not solely did it mark a pointy shift in how the governing get together elected its leaders following its unbanning, however it additionally noticed the humiliating defeat of the sitting president by the very deputy whom he had fired a mere two years earlier.
Till the day of voting on the convention, Thabo Mbeki’s chief campaigner, the late former deputy minister of defence Mluleki George, was nonetheless loudly declaring that: “Singaphezulu. We’re forward of them, comrades”.
For the tons of of journalists who lined the occasion, political conferences had turn out to be a speculative sport the place each faction claimed to be forward when it comes to widespread assist. Propaganda mattered within the psychological battle.
When George gathered the Mbeki-supporting delegates at a sports activities area subsequent to the enormous marquee that hosted the convention on the College of Limpopo’s Turfloop campus, he sought to show his warfare cry – that Mbeki had the overwhelming assist of the delegates. However it quickly grew to become clear that, judging by the numbers gathered, this was not the case.
After the impromptu rally, we, as journalists, requested George the apparent query: the place had been the supporters?
The retort from the silver-tongued George was that many extra of their marketing campaign’s supporters feared being victimised by their dwelling provinces, which overwhelmingly supported Jacob Zuma. These secret voters, we had been instructed, would emerge within the voting cubicles and solid their ballots in favour of Mbeki.
The argument appeared believable, given the stress that preceded that convention, particularly in KwaZulu-Natal, Zuma’s dwelling base.
However it quickly grew to become evident that this is able to not come to move because the then Zuma-supporting ANC Youth League president Fikile Mbalula referred to as his personal gathering of delegates on the entrance of the convention venue to counter George’s earlier effort. From a numbers’ perspective, it was clear Zuma had the favored assist.
The 60:40 ratio of the convention consequence was the results of the spectacular marketing campaign that Zuma ran. Going into the convention, he might depend the ANC Youth League, the ANC Girls’s League and the governing get together’s alliance companions – the SA Communist Celebration and labour federation Cosatu – amongst his backers.
Not solely did he have the overwhelming assist of his dwelling province, however he had managed to separate the highly effective Japanese Cape down the center.
This background is related because the ANC appears to be headed in the direction of one other extremely contested convention in 2022. As in 2007, the media and most people appear to be caught up within the propaganda of the warring factions so you will need to drill down into the problems and unpack the present “stability of forces”.
One widespread narrative that has been peddled is that embattled ANC Secretary-Basic Ace Magashule has the overwhelming assist of ANC constructions. To again up this declare, his supporters have vociferously referred to as on the ANC to carry an early convention.
The delay of the ANC’s Nationwide Basic Council (NGC), a midterm gathering to gauge the implementation of the previous congress’s resolutions, has been used as a ruse to recommend that President Cyril Ramaphosa is avoiding doable humiliation. It occurred to Mbeki in 2005 when the NGC overturned the “stepping apart” of Zuma because the get together’s deputy president.
However the previous week paints a distinct image. Magashule is in a way more precarious place than he and his supporters care to confess. He has lower than a month to step down after being ordered to take action by the NEC.
The leaking of a recording during which a few of his backers within the ANC NEC declare that “they’ve handled us” was a sobering admission that he appears to have misplaced the battle – a minimum of for now. Final weekend’s assembly additional demonstrated that Ramaphosa has the higher hand. The profitable vote for Gwen Ramokgopa by 53 votes to Ayanda Dlodlo’s 39 because the alternative of ambassador to the US Nomaindia Mfeketo within the ANC nationwide working committee additionally highlights this level. Ramokgopa was favoured by Ramaphosa’s supporters, whereas Dlodlo was backed by the Magashule faction.
The nullification of the Free State 2018 provincial convention by the supreme courtroom this week can be a heavy blow for Magashule. With out the stable backing of his dwelling province, he has little prospect of convincing others to be the launchpad for his 2022 marketing campaign to unseat Ramaphosa.
Apart from the wobbly assist from the ANC Girls’s League, Magashule doesn’t have the backing of Cosatu and the SACP. The Youth League is in disarray and he can not depend on it. Extra importantly, Magashule can not declare to have the overwhelming assist of the primary provinces – KwaZulu-Natal, Japanese Cape and Mpumalanga – with out which his prospects look even dimmer.
Some have sought to liken Magashule’s circumstances to Zuma’s forward of the Polokwane convention. Nicely, each are at the moment dealing with expenses of fraud and corruption in separate circumstances. In addition they have the propensity to lash out on the judiciary and have organised the identical marching band of dodgy characters behind them. However the similarities finish there. DM168
Sibusiso Ngalwa is the politics editor of Newzroom Afrika and chair of Sanef.
This story first appeared in our weekly Every day Maverick 168 newspaper which is offered free of charge to Choose n Pay Good Customers at these Choose n Pay shops.