The African National Congress (ANC) national executive committee (NEC) member and Justice Minister Ronald Lamola has thrown his weight behind Cyril Ramaphosa serving a second term as party president post the 2022 Elective Conference.
The governing party is due to hold its national conference in December this year, with some party members such as the Premier of Limpopo Stan Mathabata already having proclaimed that Ramaphosa should continue in his current role.
Such pronouncements have been seen by some in the party as evidence of ill-discipline as no official processes for leadership by the branches have begun.
This is how Lamola responded when pressed on whether Ramaphosa deserves a second term, during an SABC exclusive interview.
“I think he does but I would prefer the process unfold as it should in the processes of the organisation. But we do need stability and continuity.”
The video below is the full interview with Minister Lamola:
Meanwhile, political analyst Enoch Maponya says the premature endorsements of the candidates could have political repercussions.
“It is better for members of the ANC to wait until the party allows them to start campaigning for their candidates. This pre-mature announcement is a ploy to apply for jobs under Cyril Ramaphosa. If it happens that the candidate concern does not win, the winning candidate will find it difficult to accommodate them in the new structure, like cabinet, and so on.”
“We saw this in 2017, after structures like the ANC Youth League, the Women’s League, MKVA loudly started canvassing for Nkosazana Zuma and when she didn’t win, some of them, if not most, have not been accommodated in the new structure under Cyril Ramaphosa.”
The ANC in Vhembe and Sekhukhune regions have also thrown their weight behind Ramaphosa for the second term.
‘New blood to renew ANC’
Lamola says that more young people need to be at the helm of the governing party. Quizzed whether he would be interested in running for Deputy President of the ANC at the national conference scheduled at the end of 2022, Lamola said that decision would be based on the party structures but emphasised that new blood was required to renew the organisation.
“There must be a generation mix and that is what has helped the ANC of Sisulu, of Tambo, of TM … it must continue. But I think we need more of an infusion of that in the ANC, particularly, with a youthful population because the country’s population is youthful. And the reality is also that the country’s two biggest opposition parties are lead by youthful leaders so the ANC needs to have an open and comradely discussion about how we infuse that youthful generation so that we do not only renew our policies and so forth but we also renew leadership.”
Sisulu “house negros” claim
The Justice Minister has reiterated that Tourism Minister Lindiwe Sisulu insulted the judiciary. A fortnight ago Sisulu published a letter in which she questioned what economic and social justice the constitution and judiciary had delivered in a democratic dispensation.
In an open letter, Lamola criticised Sisulu for calling judges “house negros” and claimed that she had not cited a single judgment to substantiate her claims that the judges are upholding unjust laws.
“The work we have to do for example on the various aspects, in the end, it is us that must implement the laws, that must ensure that there is economic justice. So we really cannot say that it is the Constitution that is an impediment to achieving economic justice because its aspiration is to do that.”
-Additional reporting by Rudzani Tshivhase