Debates intensify within ANC over deployment of Ramokgopa to SG's office

This with Ace Magashule suspended and his deputy Jessie Duarte on sick leave.

FILE: Gwen Ramokgopa.  Picture: Christa Eybers/EWN

JOHANNESBURG - As preparations for the African National Congress (ANC)’s elective conference in December gets under way, a battle is brewing over the party's powerful secretary general’s office, with different factions trying to get a leg in on its inner workings.

This with Ace Magashule suspended and his deputy Jessie Duarte on sick leave.

Eyewitness News understands a heated debate over whether Gwen Ramokgopa should also be deployed to the secretariat was the sticking point when the national executive committee held its meeting.

This office, which operates as the engine of the former liberation movement, ultimately determines which delegates make it to the conference and elect new leadership.

While some in the NEC were worried about Lindiwe Sisulu and the impact of her public spat with party president Cyril Ramphosa, for the most part, the issue that NEC members found to be of importance was an attempt to send Ramokgopa to Luthuli House.

In what some have described to Eyewitness News on Thursday as a battle between the NEC and secretaries who drew a line in the sand refusing outside interference, it’s understood they insisted there was no need to send more deployees to the ANC headquarters with provincial secretaries said to also be providing a supporting role.

Some sources have claimed Ramaphosa’s forces want to have an influence in all spheres of ANC life even if it means failing to follow due processes to get their way.

Several NEC members say this issue was far from over with the attempt to get Ramokgopa into the SG’s office expected to return when the executive meets again.