Reform won’t come easy … NEC additional members a ‘Zuma support group’, says analyst

Newly elected ANC president Cyril Ramaphosa is not going to have it easy in bringing about reform in the governing party and its ways if the national executive committee (NEC) makeup he serves with is anything to go by.

This is according to political analyst Mcebisi Ndletyana who believes that the 80-member NEC additional members looks like a President Jacob Zuma support group at face value.

However, said Ndletyana, Zuma himself may not have control over all who are viewed to be his close allies as some were showing a neutral posture like Zweli Mkhize who received the highest votes.

Also, added Ndletyana, even those loyal to Zuma who remains president of the country amid subtle calls for his recall, may lose them along the way as politicians tended to pledge allegiance to the principal who can guarantee their future.

This was therefore Ramaphosa’s advantage to win over the majority of the NEC members.

“The fact of the matter is that the possibility of Zuma losing power is real and some NEC members may feel there is no need to protect him because he is going anyway.”

He said the new NEC was a product of a “power-sharing” sort of a deal, at least at face value.

It was obvious that the likes of ANCWL president Bathabile Dlamini, ANCYL bossCollen Maine, Mosebenzi Zwane and David Mahlobo among other would defend Zuma.

“But as time goes by, they may switch allegiance as politicians tend to pledge loyalty to someone who can guarantee their future and survival.”

But several strong pro-Ramaphosa names made the cut, including Bheki Cele, Jackson Mthembu and Pravin Gordhan.

About Eastern Cape representation in the governing party’s elite structure, ANC provincial chairman Oscar Mabuyane said they were pleased to have more than 10 people representing, including new ANC national chairman Gwede Mantashe.

According to him, this was proof the ANC in the province was on a good path in claiming back its rightful place of influence inside the party.

Mabuyane believes the entire composition of the new NEC is evidence that branch members have had enough of factions and slates.

This as both the top six officials and the additional members emerged as almost a 50/50 balanced representation of the Ramaphosa group and Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma camp.

“We have more than 10 NEC members who either reside in the province or trace their origins here who made it to the new NEC which proves we made strong contributions at the conference,” said Mabuyane.

“We welcome the election of our former provincial chair Phumulo Masualle who was endorsed to be fit for such combined efforts of the province – both NDZ and CR camps – hence he got that big number of votes.”

Masualle was elected as the most popular Eastern Cape cadre on the list of NEC additional members, coming in at No 24.


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