Succession debate premature: Ace
ANC provincial chairperson Ace Magashule has come out strongly to remind loyal cadres that they should always respect the decisions of the party’s national executive committee and not dabble in the succession debate as the race to jostle for positions has not been officially opened.
Magashule told a cadres’ assembly in Sasolburg last Friday that said it was important for ANC members in the province and everywhere else to continue supporting the current leadership appointed during the last elective conference in Mangaung.
“This is leadership that was elected and must be afforded time and space to run the ANC until 2017,” he said.
The premier also blasted those who have broken ranks to talk about succession in the party, particularly those who have openly campaigned for deputy president Cyril Ramaphosa to replace President Jacob Zuma as president.
He cautioned, “These were the same people who didn’t want Cyril to be deputy president in the first place, but today they are campaigning for him to be president while succession debates are not open yet.”
Magashule said the Free State was the one that pushed for Ramaphosa to become deputy president in the first place, adding: “Let us respect the decision of the NEC not to engage in the succession debate…Our voices will be heard once the nomination processes are open.”
Magashule said the Free State province has always been disciplined and pleading with the cadres not to break ranks with that culture.
“We’ve always been a disciplined province and we should not break ranks. It has never been more imperative for ANC members to be more discipline than now,” he added.
The premier also said it was vital for members of the ANC and its alliance partners to continue subjecting themselves to the decision by the NEC.
“ANC is the leader of the alliance partnership and once decisions have been made and agreed upon we must all subject ourselves to those decisions regardless of our personal opinions or views,” the premier noted.
The province would only engage in the succession debate once the process has been opened and decide the leaders they would want to take the revolutionary movement forward, he pointed out.
Known not to hold back, Magashule warned that leaders in the ANC were elected and positions in the party not bought.
He cited the case of a former senior Cosatu official who reportedly visited President Jacob Zuma to ask that he become the deputy president of the country.
“Understand that leaders in the ANC are elected by ordinary branch members and members should continue to respect that tradition,” he explained, adding that no one was going to be elected on the basis of having money.
“You must stop thinking that you’ll be elected because you have money. If branches want you and you have money, they will elect you.
“If you’ve never worked and served the party faithfully branches will not elect you; money or no money,” he said.
Cosatu secretary general Bheki Ntshalintshali last year publicly pronounced the organisation’s support for Ramaphosa to succeed President Zuma.
“After intensive and robust debate, the CEC (Central Executive Committee) resolved to support and lobby for the deputy president of the ANC, Comrade Cyril Ramaphosa, to take over the reigns as the next president of the ANC,” said Ntshalintshali during Aapress conference.
The pronouncement ruffled feathers within the alliance as the discussion on the matter had not yet been open, with some ANC leaders blasting leaders of the trade union for their utterances.