Ramaphosa defends ‘winning team’ pronouncements

The ANC succession battle has moved up a gear after Cyril Ramaphosa took an extraordinary step of announcing a team he wants to lead the ruling party with. File picture: Kopano Tlape/GCIS
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Johannesburg – Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa on Monday, shrugged off criticism levelled against him after announcing his running mates ahead of the African National Congress (ANC) December elective conference.

“I welcome all the views, including those that have raised concerns about my approach on the matter. I see these views in a positive light as a process of enriching and deepening our internal democratic processes and promotion of unity in the ANC,” Ramaphosa said in a statement.

“The names I mentioned for leadership positions arose from interactions and nominations emerging from ANC structures and should be understood in that context.”

ANC secretary general Gwede Mantashe had earlier criticised Ramaphosa’s announcement of Science and Technology Minister Naledi Pandor as deputy president at a rally in Sekhukhune, Limpopo over the weekend.

Such pronouncements were unacceptable and undermined ANC branches’ right to freely choose their preferred leaders, said Mantashe.

Ramaphosa further announced that his slate would also include Senzo Mchunu, who was removed as KwaZulu-Natal Premier last year, as secretary-general, Mantashe as national chairman and ANC chairman in Gauteng, Paul Mashatile, as treasurer-general.

He said he respected the fact that it was up to the branches to decide on who should lead the governing party.

“I appreciate, accept and respect the fact that there are many comrades in our movement with outstanding and excellent credentials who are being considered by our branches,” he said.

“Ultimately, it is the branches of the ANC that will determine who should be chosen as leaders of our movement and lead the renewal and rebuilding of the organisation. As always, I will respect the will and choice of leadership as will be expressed by the branches of the African National Congress.”   – IOL