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SACP opts against supporting candidates in ANC leadership race

The SACP has, however, urged delegates to elect a collective that will move the ANC out of what’s been described as a leadership paralysis.

President Jacob Zuma (back centre) hosted a meeting of the ANC’s top leadership candidates, namely Zweli Mkhize, Cyril Ramaphosa, Mathews Phosa, Jeff Radebe, Lindiwe Sisulu, Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma, and Baleka Mbete on 23 November 2017. Picture: MyANC/Facebook

JOHANNESBURG - The South African Communist Party (SACP)’s central executive committee has resolved not to over-invest in its expectations in the upcoming African National Congress (ANC) national conference.

The communist party held a briefing on the outcomes of its meeting on Sunday where its leaders decided not to back any candidate in the race to become the ANC's next president in less than two weeks.

The SACP has however urged delegates to elect a collective that will move the ANC out of what’s been described as a leadership paralysis.

SACP general secretary Blade Nzimande said: “Firstly, the leadership must be prepared to take forward the struggle against the capture of the state, other forms of corruption and general leadership arrogance, the establishment of an independent judicial commission into state capture, support for the criminal prosecution without fear or favour.”

Meanwhile, with less than two weeks to go before the ANC elects a new leadership, most provinces have made it clear that the race for the presidency is firmly between deputy president Cyril Ramaphosa and Dr Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma.

Gauteng was the latest province to nail its colours to the mast, with most branches endorsing Ramaphosa, joining the Northern Cape, Western Cape and Eastern Cape.

Ramaphosa received 374 votes to Dlamini Zuma's 64.

Political analyst Sipho Seepe says this comes as no surprise from Gauteng.

“Gauteng’s position was always known, even before the race started.”

Political analyst Daniel Silke also says the results were expected and almost a replica of the team Ramaphosa announced for his preferred slate last month.

“Ramaphosa’s relationship with Gauteng has always been very solid. On the basis of that, we’ve seen up to 90% being loyal.”

However, Silke says of all the provinces, Mpumalanga played a more strategic move by having most of its delegates vote for unity instead of a candidate.

Meanwhile, Dlamini Zuma is the preferred candidate in Free State, Northern Cape and Mpumalanga.