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Calls to change how ANC elects leaders

By Ngwako Modjadji | 2017-07-17 10:54:33.0

The ANC in the Eastern Cape has called on the party to change the way it elects new leaders.

This comes after Human Settlements Minister Lindiwe Sisulu was nominated, with banners written "Lindiwe Sisulu for President 2017" and also bearing her face.

Sisulu's public nomination over the weekend was described as "strange". The party does not accept open campaigning as was done in the Eastern Cape.

But ANC Eastern Cape secretary, Oscar Mabuyane, said yesterday that although Sisulu's nomination can be viewed as unusual for the ANC, the time has arrived for the party to adopt the global norm of how leadership races are held.

"Currently, we are using a very old and conservative approach," Mabuyane said.

In April, images of vehicles and branded merchandise - including T-shirts bearing Sisulu's face and the message "Sisulu17" - circulated on social networks.

The ANC Women's League has been thrown into disarray after Sisulu accepted the nomination.

The minister, who is an ANC national executive committee member, accepted nomination from Eastern Cape Women's League leaders at the weekend.

Sisulu's acceptance of the nomination is likely to be interpreted as a declaration of war by President Jacob Zuma's camp, which wants former African Union Commission chairwoman Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma to be the next ANC leader.

It also effectively pits her against her comrades in the women's league, Dlamini-Zuma and National Assembly Speaker Baleka Mbete, who are in the leadership race to replace Zuma.

One of the women's league structures in the Eastern Cape which nominated Sisulu said it was excited that she accepted the nomination.

OR Tambo regional leader Nombulelo Mjojeli said they were over the moon when Sisulu accepted nomination.

"She is a capable leader because of her political background, not because she comes from the Sisulu family," Mjojeli said.

"You might come from a big family in politics but not capable of leading. Her profile in government bears testimony [to her ability]."

Mjojeli said the minister is not embroiled in scandals and is not corrupt.

The ANCWL national leadership was not available for comment yesterday.