After five turbulent days at the 55th ANC National Conference there is no doubt about the following facts:
A: The ANC has failed in almost all Sectors of Politics
B: There is not an ounce of discipline left among its members
C: Cyril Ramaphosa will lead the ANC into the next General Elections in 2024
What a grotesque display of lack of discipline with ANC members singing and dancing in the middle of the President’s address, disrespectful and disobedient, a mirror of its leadership. The conference started with interruptions similar to those we are already used to from assemblies of parliament. But as much as the majority of the participating members, as well as the general public, were convinced that this will be the end of Ramaphosa’s presidency, it could not have been further from the reality that settled in.
Ramaphosa survived the voting rounds against his strongest challenger, former Minister of Health Mkhize, and gained more and more strength and momentum the longer the conference ran. There is also no word anymore from him of resigning, nor is there any real chance for any impeachment procedures being initiated against him. The procedures of the Zondo Commission and the findings in the highly contested Phala Phala Report indicated an end to his leadership, but as strong leaders before him, he re-emerged from those detrimental findings like the phoenix from the ashes, strong, dedicated and liberated, having defeated Mkhize with 2 476 against 1 897 votes.
“Keep your friends close, but keep your enemies closer” found its new reality edition. Similar to the stance of previous President Jacob Zuma appointing an opposing Cyril Ramaphosa as his deputy, Ramaphosa finds his political opponent Paul Matashile as party deputy and therefore as designated State Deputy President should the ANC win the 2024 elections.
But despite the top of the pyramid, the members of the National Executive Committee of the ANC, the true echelons of power in the country, had to be elected and it was with great surprise, but ultimately reassuring to find 5 out of the 7 top positions in the NEC in the hand of supporters of Ramaphosa, which will give him a stronger hold over the party in the coming year.
This will be a good thing and will increase investor and market confidence, allowing the Rand to recover and thereby reducing the dimension of the imported inflation and therefore – hopefully – stealing any further argument towards rate hikes from the justification portfolio of inept Reserve Bank Governor Lesetja Kganyago and the oblivious members of the Monetary Policy Committee.
The ANC Conference was just another disgrace, but the result will bring stability to the political corridors until the next elections if not even a change in personnel. It is frustrating to see that Dr Gwede “Evil” Mantashe remains in his power seat as Chairperson of the NEC, which has assisted him in remaining Minister of No Energy while any other Minister with this track record and current loadshedding would have been axed long ago. But with his new-discovered strength, CR might come back with a vengeance and could shuffle the cabinet towards a more goal-driven composition.
On a side note: Jacob Zuma’s feeble attempt to privately prosecute Ramaphosa was dismissed by the Electoral Committee. Remind me, please, why is Zuma not in jail? Why is he still being heard?