Limpopo ANC wants NEC to open succession debate now

The ANC in Limpopo will attempt to convince the national executive committee this weekend to open the party’s succession race prematurely, amid frustration with continued campaigning by senior leaders in different parts of the country.

Traditionally, the ANC has only allowed its members to campaign for positions after its policy conference, normally scheduled for July. But Limpopo secretary Knox Seabi said this tradition should be broken.

“We will push the NEC to open discussions so that anybody who is talking on leadership, is not out of order. If you don’t open it officially, people will continue discussing it and whatever they are doing will be seen as undermining the ANC.”

Seabi said provincial leaders are also unhappy with unannounced visits to the province by senior leaders and members of the ANC.

“We don’t like that. We can’t stop them but as a courtesy they should inform us … Everybody who came here did so without the blessing of the provincial leadership,” he added.

Last week former minister and African Union Commission chairperson Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma cancelled her planned address to the ANC Youth League’s cadres forum in Lebowakgomo due to a “family bereavement”.

The youth league in the province said it was unaware of the cadres forum and lambasted it as “factional”.

Instead, ANC Women’s League president Bathabile Dlamini addressed a small group of women’s league members in another event on the day.

But Seabi said it was the visits by former chief whip Mathole Motshekga, ANC policy chief Jeff Radebe and treasurer general Zweli Mkhize that upset the leadership, because they were “not aware” of it.

In KwaZulu-Natal, the ANC leadership also voiced its discontent over deputy president Cyril Ramaphosa addressing a Chris Hani memorial lecture in Newcastle, attended mostly by leaders who lost at the party’s provincial conference two years ago.

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Govan Whittles

Govan Whittles is a general news and political multimedia journalist at the Mail & Guardian. Born in King William's Town in the Eastern Cape, he cut his teeth as a radio journalist at Primedia Broadcasting. He produced two documentaries and one short film for the Walter Sisulu University, and enjoys writing about grassroots issues, national politics, identity, heritage and hip-hop culture.

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