JOHANNESBURG – African National Congress (ANC) secretary-general Ace Magashule has stood by his comment that it was the collective leadership and not just President Cyril Ramaphosa that led to the party’s victory at the polls.
This comes after a war of words between Magashule and the ANC’s head of elections Fikile Mbalula after the secretary-general challenged the view that it was Ramaphosa who had led the ANC’s electoral success.
Magashule said it was the ANC’s leadership collective that led to election success. However, he said there was no rift between him and the president.
“We are working very well with the president of the ANC. Ramaphosa works as part of the collective.”
Magashule said the ANC national executive committee would self-introspect and assess its election campaign.
Meanwhile, the president is due to announce his new Cabinet. The move will most likely divide the ANC, according to at least one analyst.
The reconfiguration will also be informed by an investigation by Public Service and Administration Minister Ayanda Dlodlo, who was tasked by Ramaphosa to look into the matter.
But what will the implications be on current Cabinet members, as well as those who have been a source of controversy?
Ridding Cabinet of those perceived to be in the Jacob Zuma faction will be one of Ramaphosa’s biggest headaches, according to political analyst Amanda Gouws.
“Many of the Zuma loyalists and politicians, who were high on the list, clearly they made it to Parliament. The scope they’ll give Ramaphosa to do what he wants to do remains to be seen.”
Ordinarily, the Cabinet would include the leader of the ANC Women’s League, but that means Ramaphosa would have to include disgraced minister Bathabile Dlamini.
Her social development portfolio has been a source of embarrassment for government with uncertainty around Sassa payments, due to a contractual mess.
Gouws said Ramaphosa had no choice but to appoint people he can trust.
“If he’s committed to a clean government and doing away with the huge salaries, he needs to reduce that Cabinet and he needs to appoint people he can trust.”