Don't interfere in branch nominations, Radebe tells ANC provincial leaders
18 September 2017
Johannesburg - ANC presidential hopeful Jeff Radebe has called on the party's provincial leaders to give branches space to freely nominate the leadership to replace President Jacob Zuma.
"Our responsibilities as leaders is to show, by example, that we need to follow the details of our constitution, and our conscience, and leave the branches of ANC to do what they are mandated to do, which is to nominate and elect leaders without interference," Radebe said in a wide-ranging interview with News24.
His comments come as ANC provincial leaders meet in a desperate attempt to avoid a contested December elective conference, amidst deep divisions on the succession debate.
This weekend, Mpumalanga ANC chairperson David Mabuza invited leaders of Limpopo, Free State, Gauteng and KwaZulu-Natal, in an effort to find common ground on the next leadership, amidst fears that divisions could split the party.
"Every person in the ANC, especially those in leadership positions, they must not do things to jeopardise the integrity of the processes. We respect the processes and need to ensure the will of branches prevails," Radebe said.
Radebe has thrown his name into the hat in the ANC's biggest presidential race in history, with at least 7 leaders contesting.
Radebe is the longest-serving minister, who has served under four presidents and has over 40 years in the organisation.
He has praised the ANC’s new electoral process which cuts out provincial and regional influence on branch nominations. Under the new process, branch nominations will be sealed in an envelope and given directly to the electoral commission.
"We need to correct past mistakes, where slates and all those negative things have tarnished the image of the processes of ANC," Radebe said.
Lacking widespread support
He said he was in the race to win the presidency, despite commentators and ANC insiders dismissing his campaign as lacking widespread support.
Most have said the race is between the two front-runners, Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma and Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa, with ANC treasurer general Zweli Mkhize seen as a "compromise candidate".
"At the end of the day, it is not the media that votes the leaders into positions, it is the branches of ANC that will decide who will be in the leadership of the ANC," he said.
Radebe has been endorsed by some branch leaders in Tshwane, Midvaal, North West and KwaZulu-Natal.
He said the ANC must endorse a new modernised recruitment and electoral process, to remove manipulation that had plagued the party, with disgruntled members turning to the courts.