Ramaphosa says his ideal candidates for ANC top six ‘not prescriptive’

UNDER FIRE: Businessman Cyril Ramaphosa
UNDER FIRE: Businessman Cyril Ramaphosa

Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa says his ideal candidates for the ANC's next top six are not "prescriptive" and that branches have the right to nominate their preferred candidates.

"Ultimately‚ it is the branches of the ANC that will determine who should be chosen as leaders of our movement and lead the renewal and rebuilding of the organisation‚" Ramaphosa said in a statement on Monday.

"The names I mentioned for leadership positions arose from interactions and nominations emerging from ANC structures and should be understood in that context."

He added that his views are part of his ongoing discussions to select the best leadership to "take our movement and country forward".

Ramaphosa is a leading contender to become the next ANC president in December. At a rally in Ga-Sekhukhune‚ Limpopo‚ on Sunday‚ he announced that on his ticket Science and Technology Minister Naledi Pandor would be the ANC deputy presidential candidate.

Ramaphosa said he would also like to see in the new ANC top six former KwaZulu-Natal ANC chairperson Senzo Mchunu as Secretary-General‚ current Secretary-General Gwede Mantashe as National Chairperson and Gauteng ANC chairperson Paul Mashatile as Treasurer-General.

The ANC called on Ramaphosa to refrain from naming slates‚ as branches are the only ones with the power to elect leaders to the party's top positions.

"Such pronouncements are unacceptable‚ whether comrades have a preference or not‚ and seek to usurp the entrenched right of the branches to nominate candidates of their choosing‚" the ANC said.

It added that the 2015 National General Council had resolved to outlaw slates and reaffirm the role of the branch as the basic unit of the ANC.

"Accordingly‚ in implementing this resolution‚ the NEC directed that we ensure branch nominations are not tempered with‚ and that the will of the branches is reflected and respected."

Various branches of the ANC have already started their Branch General Meetings (BGMs) at which they intend nominating branch delegates who will attend the 54th national conference of the party.

Conference delegates will nominate and elect candidates to national executive committee positions‚ and they will also discuss policy proposals which could inform government policy.

– Additional reporting by Neo Goba