Political Analyst Ongama Mtimka says former President Jacob Zuma is aiming to return to the African National Congress’s (ANC) Top Six with hopes that he will be shielded from his legal woes.
Zuma has occupied the position before. In 1994, Zuma won the chairmanship of the ANC comfortably by 1670 votes, beating Pallo Jordan who received 255; and Jeff Radebe 227.
Despite having occupied all positions within the party apart from the position of Treasurer-General, Zuma is adamant of a return.
While he may have ambitions in his political home, he may be flogging a dead horse as the party retained its step aside resolution at its policy conference earlier this year.
His legal wranglings prevent him from availing himself for the position.
Mtimka says Zuma’s candidature is an attempt to evade his legal battles.
He says, “Jacob Zuma’s interest in being in the Top Six of the ANC again suggests that he feels he needs political protection, he needs to remain in control in order for him to stay out of jail. What makes him think that it is possible to actually succeed in his campaign is the fact that the party is in paralysis in the aftermath of Nasrec as a result of the debilitating split that has been in the party, despite the fact that its none of the factions who want to go out and start their own party, so the extent of paralysis has attracted many people who would otherwise not qualify for leadership.”
Branch defends Zuma’s nomination for ANC national chairperson position:
Former ANC deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe explained the step-aside rule saying, “Any member may stand if they have been active for at least 10 years, then you qualify to stand for nomination onto the National Executive Committee unless they have been found guilty of or charged with unethical or immoral conduct, any serious crime or corruption, then those ones are disqualified; and a serious crime is one that could result in a prison sentence of longer than six months, and a charge as defined as being charged in a court of law. ”
“The rule applies also to those who have been charged with any criminal offences in cases that are still being heard or where a judgment or sentence is being appealed.”
In September, Mantashe laughed off Zuma’s bid for ANC Chair: