Why Jake isn’t grooming Cyril for succession
President Jacob Zuma had barely taken office last May before the first shots in the battle to succeed him were fired. He has already blocked the election of a new leadership for the ANC Youth League, fearing that the top candidates could spearhead a new opposition to his rule. Yet the ANC’s next national elective conference, when Zuma will have to step down as party chief, is still over two years away.
Like Shakespeare’s Macbeth, Zuma seems consumed by the fear that he will be deposed before the end of his term, in much the same way he unseated Thabo Mbeki.
The ANCYL was supposed to elect new leaders at its consultative national conference on 28-29 November. After former league president Julius Malema’s group left, the ANC leadership disbanded the league’s remaining National Executive Committee and replaced it with hand-picked interim leaders, dubbed the “National Task Team”. Former ANCYL Treasurer Pule Mabe and his allies appeared to be the clear front-runners.
However, Zuma and his allies fear that if elected, the Mabe group will formally call for his early retirement and for Deputy President,Cyril Ramaphosa – who is also ANC deputy president – to take over to “stabilise” the party.