'Gordhan, Hawks dispute shows ANC growing increasingly fragmented'

Yesterday, both Jacob Zuma & Cyril Ramaphosa said they affirm their faith in Pravin Gordhan.

Picture: EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - Political analysts say the dispute between Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan and the Hawks and the strong criticism levelled by former foreign affairs director general Sipho Pityana shows the party is growing increasingly fragmented.

Yesterday, Pityana said the party had ceded the moral high ground that President Jacob Zuma should step down and that it needed to change its course completely.

Meanwhile, the African National Congress (ANC) has appeared to remain silent over the demand by the Hawks that Gordhan make a warning statement concerning a unit created while he was the head of South African Revenue Service (Sars).

Yesterday, both Zuma and Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa said they affirm their faith in Gordhan.

Ramaphosa went further saying the situation made it look like government was at war with itself.

But the ANC itself has remained silent, issuing no formal statement and appearing to not take a position on the matter.

Daily Maverick political writer Ranjeni Munusamy says this feeds into growing division in the party that make it tough for it to have an early conference.

"There's a very real danger of the conference completely crumbling. I don't think that there's anybody in the ANC leadership now who has the authority or the respect to be able to command control of such a situation."

The ANC Youth League has called for an early elective gathering.

Now, ANC Secretary General Gwede Mantashe says that's not a bad idea.