ANC top six scrap plans for CT walkabout

David Mabuza, Paul Mashatile, Jessie Duarte and Ace Magashule were scheduled to go on walkabouts to be in various areas across Cape Town on Friday.

FILE: The ANC's newly elected top six acknowledge their supporters at the party's national conference at Nasrec in Johannesburg on 18 December 2017. Picture: EWN

CAPE TOWN - The African National Congress (ANC) has cancelled its campaign program for the top officials amid growing confusion and uncertainty about how it is dealing with President Jacob Zuma’s expected exit.

The party’s leaders, except Cyril Ramaphosa and Gwede Mantashe, were due to participate in activities in Cape Town ahead of the party’s centennial celebrations in honor of late former president Nelson Mandela.

Ramaphosa on Thursday pulled out of two days of party activity in the province, fueling speculation that he's rushing to conclude talks with Zuma.

The ANC’s top six will no longer be taking part in activities in the build-up to the Nelson Mandela centenary celebrations.

David Mabuza, Paul Mashatile, Jessie Duarte and Ace Magashule were scheduled to go on walkabouts to be in various areas across Cape Town on Friday.

The plan now seems to have changed.

The ANC’s deputy president David Mabuza was supposed to visit the Nolungile train station and Khayelitsha’s Site C taxi rank this morning. This was to be followed by a community meeting later in the day.

But that plan has been scrapped. Some of the ANC’s national executive committee (NEC) members will fill in for him and the rest of the top six leaders.

"It is unfortunate that our national office bearers are not here. We have been told that they are busy with urgent issues."

Jacobs wouldn’t comment on discussions between ANC president Cyril Ramaphosa and President Jacob Zuma.

"I don't want to get involved in any of the speculation. We respect our national leaders. We will all play a role, we all have our view, our positions. This time unity is important."

Political analyst Ralph Mathekga says that this shows the entire top six is dealing with Zuma’s exit and not just Ramaphosa.

"The top six are the ones who are supposed to steer the negotiations and inform other structures of the ANC - that is your NEC and your NWC. So, it should actually be driven by the top six and I think having their calendars or engagements cancelled, shows that they are probably attending."

Meanwhile, the party’s alliance partners are growing impatient with the ANC president.

They want him to finalize talks with Zuma before Sunday.

Cosatu’s Sizwe Pamla says they are giving Ramaphosa today and tomorrow to finalize this issue.

"For us, we do not want w do not want this weekend to end with President Jacob Zuma still at the helm."

The SACP’s Solly Mapaila also they want Ramaphosa to act now.

"We would have loved him to be gone already. For us, even the ened of the weekend is too far. We hope that in the next two days or so they should be able to make an announcement."

With the ANC now having cancelled their build up programme, questions are being asked on whether Sunday’s big rally where Ramaphosa was meant to speak will continue.

There has been no official word from any senior ANC spokespeople.