- President Zuma is said to be worried that the ANC’s elective conference could collapse
- The President emphasised the need for unity within the party during a meeting on Monday
- ANC insiders fear that Dlamini-Zuma’s supporters could cause the conference to collapse if it becomes clear that she has lost
President Jacob Zuma has been forced to make a dramatic U-turn on his very public backing of Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma to become the next leader of the African National Congress (ANC).
Zuma is said to be worried that the ANC’s 54th National Elective Conference which kicks off in three weeks could collapse. He has been forced to play the part of a unifying force within the party.
ANC insiders fear that Dlamini-Zuma’s supporters could force the conference to collapse if it becomes clear that she has lost her bid to become the next leader of the party.
Briefly.co.za can confirm that a special meeting was held at the ANC’s Luthuli House headquarters on Monday to discuss the upcoming conference. The meeting was attended by Zuma, all seven of the presidential candidates and provincial leaders.
Zuma emphasised the need for unity within the ANC and asked provincial leaders to take charge of their delegates and to prevent a possible revolt.
The race for the presidency of the ANC (and possibly the country) is set to be fought out between Dlamini-Zuma and Ramaphosa. None of the other five candidates has managed to make a meaningful impact at ANC branch level.
ANC officials and political analysts have expressed concern about the future of the party following the conference with some predicting a catastrophic split within the party which would dwarf what was seen when the Congress of the People (Cope) and the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) were born out of splitting factions.
Both the Ramaphosa and Dlamini-Zuma campaigns have claimed victory ahead of the election saying that they had secured enough delegates to seal up the victory.
The nature of voting during the conference means that these claims ring hollow as each delegate is free to choose his or her preferred candidate and is not bound to vote for the person their branch is backing in public.
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