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Factional battles ‘threaten ANC, dwarf Ramaphosa, Magashule’

ANC factionalism is now being institutionalised and seen in the battle for the control of key state institutions, says analyst Ralph Mathekga.

Fierce factional battles that continue to threaten unity, renewal and stability within the ANC are bigger than President Cyril Ramaphosa and ANC secretary-general Ace Magashule, according to political analyst Ralph Mathekga.

Commenting on weekend reports that Ramaphosa succeeded in foiling Magashule’s move to deploy former president Jacob Zuma loyalists to become chairs of strategic parliamentary committees, Mathekga yesterday said the ANC’s challenges were “much bigger than Cyril and Ace”.

“What you see is a serious battle for the control of state institutions, one of them being parliament, where policies are implemented in shaping SA laws.

“It makes sense to want to take control of parliament.

“ANC factionalism is now being institutionalised and seen in the battle for the control of key state institutions.

“Magashule is a reflection of a part of the ANC and should not be singled out individually.

“He was voted into that position at the Nasrec 54th ANC national conference by members who want him to continue the battle for the implementation of certain policy approaches,” said Mathekga.

Ramaphosa could not be expected “to radically deal with Magashule” who is seemingly hell-bent on undermining his power.

“What Ramaphosa should do, is to continue consolidating his power – one battle at a time.

“Ramaphosa cannot be expected to deal with Magashule in the radical manner in which some people expect.

“Magashule represents a part of the ANC that elected him into office,” said Mathekga.

Magashule is reported to have favoured some ANC MPs implicated in state capture, to become chairs of strategic portfolio committees.

They include former ministers Faith Muthambi and Mosebenzi Zwane, who have been exposed to have carried out instructions of the infamous Gupta family, associated with Zuma.

But Mapungubwe Institute for Strategic Reflection research director Dr Susan Booysen warned: “Do not give Ace a centimetre of space to put his own rules. You’ll regret it.”


Some factional ANC battles:

  • Zuma supporters in KwaZulu-Natal burning ANC T-shirts bearing former president Thabo Mbeki’s face in the run-up to the Polokwane conference in 2007 that voted Zuma into power.
  • The 2017 Nasrec conference saw a closely-fought election for the party leadership between Ramaphosa and Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma. The Citizen
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