Zuma, Magashule panicking, fighting for survival – analyst

Former president of South Africa Jacob Zuma and current president Cyril Ramaphosa are supported by different factions. EPA-EFE/Stringer

The pre-2017 Nasrec ANC factions are bound to resurface because party secretary-general Ace Magashule and former president Jacob Zuma are panicking and fighting for survival.

Analysts say the two are trying desperately to avoid prison in the aftermath of the Commission of Inquiry into State Capture and other inquiries.

Magashule and the Zuma faction smelt jail and therefore it was in Magashule’s interest to start rocking the boat now at Luthuli House, said political analyst Andre Duvenhage.

“I have no doubt in my mind that Magashule is playing a destructive role by giving recognition to the ANC collective, instead of Ramaphosa, for the fact that the ANC achieved a 57.5% win in the 2019 election,” he said.

Duvenhage said it was obvious Cyril Ramaphosa was the main contributor to the electoral achievement. The party would have fallen far below 50% had he not been elected ANC president.

His view was in line with that expressed by Fikile Mbalula, ANC head of elections and national executive committee member, who said Ramaphosa actually rescued the governing party at the election because they predicted a 40% or less vote.

Mbalula was, however, contradicted by Magashule, who insisted that the credit should be given to the ANC collective.

This is despite the fact that independent snap polls – including one by the ANC – showed that Ramaphosa was more popular than the party.

Duvenhage said while the ANC factions would want to claim the victory, the Zuma faction, led by Magashule, wanted to claim moral high ground so that when time came for them to face charges emanating from the different commissions, they would have prepared their supporters and the country for the worst.

The analyst believed the Zuma faction wanted sympathy from party members so that when the time approached for them to face jail, they would have exposed Ramaphosa as a weak leader, which was what Magashule had already begun doing.

Political analyst Daniel Silke said: “I think that Ramaphosa will have to cement his authority within the ANC.

“The best way to do that is to appoint a Cabinet that is refreshed. At the moment, that Cabinet is too close to Zuma and Magashule and they are too powerful.”

Eric Naki / The Citizen