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Analyst predicts generational battle in next round of ANC conferences

Malusi Gigaba’s sympathisers argue that the former Home Affairs minister is being purged because he poses a threat for the senior members of the party ahead of the ANC’s next elective conference.

FILE: Former Cabinet minister Malusi Gigaba. Picture: Thomas Holder/EWN

DURBAN - As debates around the so-called “generational mix” continue within the African National Congress (ANC) in the wake of Malusi Gigaba’s resignation, one political analyst believes this argument is a proxy to bargain for factional interests.

Gigaba’s resignation has seen his sympathisers and peers jumping to his defence despite the litany of controversies that he has been embroiled in.

They argue that the former Home Affairs minister is being purged because he poses a threat for the senior members of the party ahead of the ANC’s next elective conference.

It’s understood that a fightback campaign is now underway that includes ensuring that Gigaba remains in the National Assembly after the 2019 elections.

Peter Mokaba being overlooked for a ministerial position in the early 90s, Fikile Mbalula’s exit from Cabinet earlier in 2018 and now Gigaba’s resignation all form part of the debate around whether the elders in the ANC are gatekeeping senior positions because of the threat young leaders may pose.

Political analyst Lukhona Mnguni says there have been no substantive arguments to back these claims.

“When you scratch the surface beyond the proposal of younger people or more woman or a female leader, you then ask, what are the fundamentals that these people are proposing that would reshape the ANC or reformulate it in a different way? You tend not to hear anything of substance.”

But will the debate around a “generational mix” create problems for senior ANC leaders ahead of the 2022 elective conference?

Mnguni believes the connection between Mokaba, Mbalula and Gigaba as former ANC Youth League presidents strengthens the narrative.

“I do foresee a massive intergenerational battle in the next round of conferences in the ANC.”

Meanwhile, the KwaZulu-Natal ANC has welcomed Gigaba’s resignation, saying it will give him time to respond to all the challenges he currently faces.

At the same time, Gigaba is expected to be in the province over the weekend for ANC election campaigning.

(Edited by Zamangwane Shange)

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