‘People should talk values, not names’

The ANC's NWC resolved that no members or structures of the party are allowed to publicly discuss names of people regarding its succession battle.

FILE: ANC Deputy Secretary General Jessie Duarte. Picture: Thomas Holder/EWN

JOHANNESBURG – African National Congress (ANC) deputy secretary general Jessie Duarte says the national working committee (NWC) has resolved that going forward, no members or structures of the party are allowed to publicly discuss names of people regarding its succession battle.

Duarte says this was decided last night by members of the NWC.

She was speaking during a meeting with South African media editors in Parktown.

The ANC’s succession battle has dominated headlines in the past couple of days, with outgoing African Union Chair Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma’s bid for the top job being boosted by the party’s woman’s league last week, talks of National Assembly speaker Baleka Mbete raising her hand for the position and deputy president Cyril Ramaphosa also having some backers.

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But speaking at Kwadukuza in KwaZulu-Natal at the weekend, President Jacob Zuma discouraged individual factions from joining the debate over who should take over from him when his tenure ends.

Zuma also said that being deputy president does not automatically bestow the mantle of president-in-waiting, making a loud statement about Ramaphosa’s chances.

The party's deputy secretary-general says the most important aspect for the party at the moment is values and not names.

“We are hoping that if we can minimise the utilisation of factions, we will be able to produce a list that is nationally representative of a broad spectrum of ideas and people in our society. That is why we are asking people not to talk about names, but to talk about values.”

The governing party will elect its new leader in December.

(Edited by Masechaba Sefularo)