Don’t bet against Zuma: ABZ left out of the NEC

ANC president Jacob Zuma's allies dominated the party's newly elected national executive committee (NEC) on Thursday. All former NEC members who campaigned and supported the project to replace him with his former deputy Kgalema Motlanthe have been dumped.

Winnie Madikizela-Mandela was re-elected from the prominent 2007 NEC that publicly criticised Zuma and supported the call for leadership change. She received the majority of the Polokwane conference votes, but was this year the second last successful NEC member. Thenjiwe Mtintso, a South African Ambassador to Italy who once served the ANC as deputy secretary general was also re-elected, despite being nominated by Motlanthe's supporters.

Former treasurer general Mathews Phosa, Human Settlements Minister Tokyo Sexwale, Sport Minister Fikile Mbalula, ANC Youth League NEC member Andile Lungisa and former youth league leader Saki Mofokeng were the biggest losers after pushing to the end to lead the ANC. 

Former ANC Youth League president and Minister of Public Enterprises Malusi Gigaba's political star keeps rising. He was the second-most favourite member of the new NEC.

Congress of South African Trade Unions president Sdumo Dlamini becomes the first trade union movement leader to sit on the ANC NEC since 1994. While some in Cosatu believe it's a necessary step towards the federation's mission to populate the ANC's ranks, Dlamini's election into the top ANC structure will be contentious because of the possibility of compromising the federation's independence. Other key union leaders who made it to the NEC are National Union of Mineworkers president Senzeni Zokwana and health union Nehawu general secretary Fikile Majola. Thulas Nxesi, a former general secretary of teacher union Sadtu, was also elected. 

The new brooms in the NEC include former presidential spokesperson Zizi Kodwa, the ANC Youth League's suspended treasurer general Pule Mabe, North West ANC treasurer Philly Mapulane, chairperson of the Umkhonto we Sizwe Military Veterans Association Kebby Maphatsoe, former Western Cape provincial chairperson Mcebisi Skwatsha, Intelligence Minister Siyabonga Cwele, Cosatu president Sdumo Dlamini, Labour Minister Mildred Oliphant and Rosemary Zoleka.

Despite allegations of corruption and a guilty verdict by the Gauteng ANC, Humphrey Mmemezi made it to the new NEC. Former police commissioner Bheki Cele, who was fired for his role in the multimillion-rand police offices lease debacle, was also elected.

Surprise losers included Young Communist League general secretary Buti Manamela and former ANC Youth League secretary general Vuyiswa Tulelo.

Former president Thabo Mbeki's allies making a comeback to the ANC's highest decision-making body are former Reserve Bank Governor Tito Mboweni and former minister of agriculture Thoko Didiza.

Charles Molele
Guest Author
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