Durban – The newly elected national executive committee (NEC) of the ANC favours the newly re-elected President Cyril Ramaphosa, a political analyst believes.
The NEC is the highest decision-making body of the ANC between conferences. It ratifies or rejects recommendations from the national working committee (NWC).
Makhosini Mgitywa, an independent political analyst, says this new NEC will give Ramaphosa the space to act decisively.
The new NEC which consists of 80 members as well as seven officials (the Top 7) was announced on Wednesday and it saw a number of Ramaphosa backers making the cut.
However, in the process, Ramaphosa lost key members like Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan, Nosiviwe Mapisa-Ngqakula, the Speaker of Parliament who recently shielded him during the tabling of the Section 89 report on Phala Phala, and Jeff Radebe, a former minister.
He also lost Derek Hanekom, one of the fiercest campaigners behind the CR22 campaign, who made himself unavailable for the contest, saying he wants to “open the dance floor” to others.
Also not making a comeback was Blade Nzimande, a long-serving member of the NEC, and Thulas Nxesi, Labour Minister in the current Cabinet of Ramaphosa.
Nzimande was among those who recently voted against the adoption of the Phala Phala report, which could have paved the way for Ramaphosa to be impeached.
On the side of his opponents, the likes of Dr Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma, who recently voted for the adoption of the Phala Phala report by Parliament; Dr Zweli Mkhize, who contested for the position of president; and Bathabile Dlamini, who backed Mkhize, seemed to raise eyebrows in some quarters.
However, Ramaphosa was boosted when the likes of Zizi Kodwa and Mondli Gungubele made it to the decision-making body.
The two had been vocal in shielding Ramaphosa ever since the Phala Phala scandal came to the fore after former spy boss Arthur Fraser lifted the lid.
But Mgitywa said this NEC favours Ramaphosa and it will give him space to breathe.
“He’s in a much better position than he was in 2017. He would also have learnt that he has to govern and make unpopular decisions. There’s no time for Mr Nice Guy,” Mgitywa said.