The eagerly-anticipated 2022 ANC elective conference may still be a whole year away from taking place, but it seems those who belong in President Cyril Ramaphosa's faction have already intensified lobbying, with reports by reliable sources indicating that a preferred slate has been rubber stamped.
Ordinarily, it is culturally unacceptable for ANC leaders to form slates outside of an elective conference or this many months away from it.
However, the ANC has significantly veered away from culture and traditions which underpinned the movement for decades, which is why slates have already being bandied about by virtually all factions who've got vested interest.
Reliably, word within the corridors of Luthuli House has it that Ramaphosa's faction is plotting to dismantle the current top 6, and introduce new three names that are touted as potential candidates.
It is an undeniably indisputable fact that the current top 6 was not necessarily what Ramaphosa and his faction desired at the 2017 conference, Deputy President David Dabede Mabuza had to be roped in at virtually the eleventh hour to sway his Mpumalanga delegates to betray RET camp for Ramaphosa.
Nonetheless, there is a proverbial adage which says, "there are no permanent friends or enemies in politics", and this is evidenced by the CR22's concerted effort to ditch Mabuza in favour of minister of Defence, Thandi Modise.
With suspended Secretary-General Ace Magashule a well-known political enemy of the President, his Nasrec opponent, Senzo Mchunu is believed to be a frontrunner for the position.
Finally, deputy secretary-general Jessie Duarte has already indicated that she would not contest for re-election as she intends to retire, thus, ANC general manager Febe Potgieter-Qhubule is touted as a potential candidate.
It is therefore one's opinion that, the decision to literally dispense with Mabuza could have far reaching consequences for Ramaphosa's own presidential aspirations.
Mabuza who has a chequered history from his time as chairperson & Premier of Mpumalanga, is not particularly popular in the country and moreso by Ramaphosa's backers, benefactors and allies.
PHOTO: Daily Maverick
There is a catch, Mabuza might not wield the same level of influence in Mpumalanga, but word in the streets is that he has allies who still control the machinations inside the ANC there.
Which is why Ramaphosa could lose Mpumalanga province without DD's support. Moreso, Modise might have the required credibility, but she does not have constituency, which is hugely important in conferences.
In terms of numbers, notwithstanding who would likely forwarded as the RET candidate, Ramaphosa will most likely not get full support from KZN, North West and Free State and now Mpumalanga, and these are hugely important provinces in so far as delegates are concerned.
Limpopo, Gauteng and the Eastern Cape are divided and Mabuza has a lot of sympathizers from these provinces. Therefore, if Mabuza were to be ditched, Ramaphosa's desired top 6 Slate could just be a recipe for disaster.
CR22 top 6 Slate in full:
President - Cyril Ramaphosa
Deputy - Thandi Modise
National Chairperson - Gwede Mantashe
Secretary-General Senzo Mchunu
Deputy secretary-general Febe Potgieter-Qhubule
Treasurer-General Paul Mashatile
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