Three women who are ANC royalty are now officially in the race for the party’s presidency in December. We analyse the contest and assess the campaigns of all three.
At the weekend, the party’s chairperson and Speaker of the National Assembly Baleka Mbete threw her hat into the ring for the second time. It was reported in January that she was running to become party president. At the weekend, she officially declared her intention to race.
At 68 years old, she is the age mate of the favourite candidate, Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma. The race for ANC president is currently regarded as a two-horse race between the party and country’s deputy president, Cyril Ramaphosa, and Dlamini-Zuma.
Now Mbete has opened it up with a salty gambit: she is in a strong position because it is her decision, as Speaker, on whether to allow a parliamentary secret ballot in the no confidence vote which will be held on August 8. This is huge political leverage and she is using it.
A recent Constitutional Court judgment put the decision firmly in her hands and Mbete is clearly now using this power to open her campaign but also to secure offers as a deputy president on either the states of Dlamini-Zuma or Ramaphosa.
Mbete has long harboured presidential ambitions. This is because Dlamini-Zuma’s campaign is regarded as closely aligned to that of President Jacob Zuma’s and Mbete holds his future in her hands.
While ANC chief whip at parliament, Jackson Mthembu, is enforcing a strict line against a secret ballot, analysts say the ANC caucus could surprise if secrecy reigns.
Source: The Huffington Post.
| . Ferial Haffajee.