Few commentators are commenting on the best case conference outcome scenario – Ramaphasa by a landslide – whole slate elected.
Why the best case? If corruption in South Africa is to be really tackled before the next national election in 2019, the deeply corrupted governing party needs to be totally cleansed.
Cleansed at the cabinet, parliamentary, provincial and local levels. This means recalling Jacob Zuma, recalling most of the cabinet and many MPs, premiers and mayors. And of course massive changes in SOEs and in key posts appointed by the president.
Nkosazana clearly won’t
She is clearly on the side of the corrupt status quo. A total shake-up? Nothing could be further from her mind. When you think of a future under her, you would be wise to be thinking of further looting, further state capture and a failing state.
Think more silly slogans in the place of effective plans to rescue the South African economy.
Why else would Zuma be supporting her? Ditto Bathabile Dlamini. Ditto Carl Niehaus and premiers from the most corrupt provinces.
A compromise candidate?
Understand that the current ANC is dominated by corruption. A deal that involves a compromise with corruption, is still corruption. Most members of the party may not be corrupt, but the leadership is corrupt as hell. A deal with the devil of corruption will not save South Africa. It will not even save the ANC. Best case scenario: the voters will banish it to the opposition benches in 2019. But can South Africa wait that long? Will there be enough left to save?
Does Cyril have the guts?
Whether Cyril Ramaphosa has the guts to do all of the above and more, I do not know. What I do know is that he cannot possibly do so without a massive mandate from the elective conference. Compromises, like Nkosazana as his deputy, or electing members of the existing web of corruption onto the NEC or executive would make the task impossible.
Could a Cyril landslide happen?
A large majority of the national electorates (even just ANC voters) clearly prefer Ramaphosa to Dlamini-Zuma. Have the branches been listening to the voters? It is hard to believe that they are as out of touch as the higher echelons of the party. Could it be that many of the delegates assumed to be voting for NDZ, are secretly planning to vote for CR? Speaking one’s mind openly in ANC circles right now (especially in provinces like KZN) is not the wisest thing to do!
My sense is that there is a growing public groundswell against the Zumas and the idea of another Zuma, which means less money for the poor and even more for the connected few. In such situations, any surprises are likely to be in the direction of that groundswell.
When it comes to elections, all politicians and their teams lie. They all want to give the impression that they are going to win.
Maybe the ‘analysts’ are right and it is going to be a close call. Maybe Zuma will collapse the conference but I doubt it. He does not even need for his ex to win, just to get some of his people in. I am sure that he does believe. But we know he lives in his own world, I doubt it even occurs to him that Cyril could win by a landslide.