Zuma cohort outplayed in Gauteng
The president's supporters have lost a key election, keeping the richest province out of his control. Education spokesperson Panyaza Lesufi lost the contest for the position of Gauteng ANC deputy secretary general to a rival from the anti-Zuma camp. President Jacob Zuma and his supporters in Gauteng suffered a blow when delegates at the ANC's provincial general council rejected basic education spokesperson Panyaza Lesufi's bid to become deputy secretary general.
Zuma's supporters had hoped that the election of Lesufi would help to tilt the balance in favour of the president in a provincial executive committee dominated by a powerful bloc opposed to his leadership. In the run-up to Mangaung, the ANC in Gauteng pushed for a change in national leadership and supported Kgalema Motlanthe, who was then the deputy president of both the party and the country, for the position of ANC president.
A pro-Zuma ANC member, who preferred not to be named, told the Mail & Guardian this week that the president and his supporters have all but lost their grip on power in Gauteng, the engine room of the South African economy. The aim was to make sure that President Zuma had a modicum of control or representation in the economic hub of the country.
The factional divisions within the Gauteng ANC have been present for some time. Zuma's decision to appoint Nomvula Mokonyane as premier ahead of Paul Mashatile in 2009 angered Mashatile, who is arts and culture minister and chairs the ANC in the province.
The delegate added: "The province has outmanoeuvred JZ.... Read the full, comprehensive news article and discuss at Mail & Guardian