Communists back Zuma second term

THE Young Communist League has entered the fray around President Jacob Zuma running for a second term as both president of the ANC and of the country.

THE Young Communist League has entered the fray around President Jacob Zuma running for a second term as both president of the ANC and of the country.

The call made by Cosatu general-secretary Zwelinzima Vavi last week has caused ripples within the tripartite alliance, with the ANC accusing the labour federation of interference.

ANC general-secretary Gwede Mantashe said it was not "Cosatu's business" who the ANC leaders were. He accused Cosatu of behaving like "a lobby group".

The ANC Youth League also jumped into the fray, accusing Cosatu of having "jumped the gun".

In a statement yesterday, the YCL said it supported the call by Cosatu for Zuma to have a second term. The ANC is to hold its elective congress in 2012 and the country's president is to be elected in 2014.

"As long as the alliance is still intact and we are expected to mobilise and organise for the ANC electoral victory during elections as one of our key common programmes to retain the ANC alliance in the state, our interest in the ANC leadership will remain unchanged," YCL spokesperson Castro Ngobese said yesterday.

Questions have been raised about the spat among the allies with suggestions that it was an indication of how the various forces that had brought Zuma into power were staking their claim.

Political analyst Aubrey Matshiqi describes the reaction by the ANCYL to Cosatu's call as "a battle between kingmakers".

He argues that the ANCYL was unhappy that Cosatu was "trying to displace them as the kingmakers".

Both Matshiqi and political analyst Steven Friedman agree that there could be some positives coming out of the whole debate.

Matshiqi also argues that there could be some people within the ANC, including Zuma himself, who feel that the ANC may not have sufficiently stabilised by 2012, and therefore having Zuma continuing could avert the kind of leadership war the party experienced in 2007.

Friedman, on the other hand, also argues that having the matter dealt with now, and with Zuma in charge for both terms, could allow the state space to govern and effect its plans.

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