A divided alliance will fail in 2019 elections, Mbete warns

ANC presidential hopeful Baleka Mbete on Friday reached out to the party’s alliance partners and called for strained relationships to be “nursed”.

“Tempers must cool down. The alliance is very important. We are the ones who must build it and we must nurse it,” she told about 200 members of the ANC’s Dorothy Nyembe branch, most of them pensioners, in Soweto.

A divided alliance would not gain the trust of voters in the 2019 general elections and, if they could not unite, DA leader Mmusi Maimane could become the country’s next president, she warned.

Mbete, who is the ANC chairperson and National Assembly speaker, was on her presidential campaign trail. Ordinary ANC members and some local leaders have endorsed Mbete to replace President Jacob Zuma at the party’s elective conference in December.

Pensioners and some young people present confronted her with the myriad problems they faced, including service delivery.

Others wanted her to explain divisions in the ANC following revelations about state capture by the Gupta family and white monopoly capital. While a few praised her leadership, others warned that they would not vote for the ANC if it continued to ignore their plight.

“There is nothing we are fighting about,” Mbete replied.

“Monopoly capital is a universal thing. It’s just that in South Africa, monopoly capital is white, so it’s semantics. People just want to hear their own voices and compete about speaking English.”

‘We must sit down and talk’
Relations within the ANC-led alliance are at an all-time-low. Cosatu, the SACP, and Sanco have all called on Zuma to step down and barred him from attending their events. Cosatu and some SACP leaders are backing Zuma’s deputy, Cyril Ramaphosa, to take over as ANC leader.

Mbete said they were concerned that the SACP was considering contesting the 2019 general elections by itself.

“We don’t think it is wise. We must sit down and talk, we can resolve the problems. We sat with FW De Klerk, why can’t we fix each other to be strong in 2019?”

Local ANC leader Morithi Matlou said if the ANC Women’s League wanted a woman president, Mbete was the only choice. He praised Mbete for her two terms as the ANC’s first female chairperson, and for 40 years of service to the organisation.

Some of the pensioners wore ANCWL uniforms, despite the league’s leadership having endorsed NEC member Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma to become ANC president.

Other presidential contenders include Ramaphosa, Housing Minister Lindiwe Sisulu, Minister in the Presidency Jeff Radebe, and former ANC treasurer Mathews Phosa. – News24

Subscribe to the M&G

These are unprecedented times, and the role of media to tell and record the story of South Africa as it develops is more important than ever.

The Mail & Guardian is a proud news publisher with roots stretching back 35 years, and we’ve survived right from day one thanks to the support of readers who value fiercely independent journalism that is beholden to no-one. To help us continue for another 35 future years with the same proud values, please consider taking out a subscription.

Related stories


Subscribers only

Poachers in prisons tell their stories

Interviews with offenders provide insight into the structure of illegal wildlife trade networks

Covid-overflow hospital in ruins as SIU investigates

A high-level probe has begun into hundreds of millions of rand spent by the Gauteng health department to refurbish a hospital that is now seven months behind schedule – and lying empty

More top stories

The politics of the Zuma-Zondo showdown

Any move made by the Zondo commission head or by former president Jacob Zuma must be calculated, because one mistake from either side could lead to a political fallout

Museveni declared winner of disputed Uganda election

Security personnel out in force as longtime president wins sixth term and main challenger Bobi Wine alleges rigging.

Pay-TV inquiry probes the Multichoice monopoly

Africa’s largest subscription television operator says it is under threat amid the emerging popularity of global platforms like Netflix and Amazon Prime

​No apology or comfort as another Marikana mother dies without...

Nomawethu Ma’Bhengu Sompeta, whose funeral will be held this weekend, was unequivocal in calling out the government for its response to the Marikana massacre

press releases

Loading latest Press Releases…