Hlaudi Headed for NEC

No matter how unthinkable you may think it is, Hlaudi Motsoeneng may emerge as one of the 86 members of the National Executive Committee of the African National Congress at the party’s 2017 conference. He has already indicated that ” I only need six months to change South Africa.”

Last week the ANC Youth League in Ethekwini pronounced that they would support Motsoeneng to be elected to the NEC next year. In fact they want him to be a government minister. Their position was immediately endorsed by their provincial leadership through the provincial secretary that indeed Motsoeneng would get their support for the NEC. You need to understand how the ANC operates not to dismiss this matter as a joke. In the past, when the ANC leadership wanted to test waters about a serious matter, the Youth League would be the one to take the plunge so that if anything went through it would be blamed on the recklessness of the youth.

In KZN, the provincial leadership of the ANC often uses the outspoken, and indeed reckless, Youth League to do its dirty work. For instance, the ANC has repeatedly stressed that the process of nominating leadership for the 2017 conference has not begun. However, the ANCYL in KZN has been running a campaign for Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma to succeed her former husband as president of the party with no consequences whatsoever. ANC Secretary General Gwede Mantashe has tried in vain to stop the province from pronouncing their preferred candidate for the position of president.

Now they have gone a step further and are nominating additional members and nothing is going to happen to them. In Limpopo, a grouping that tried to spearhead the campaign of deputy president Cyril Ramaphosa to succeed has been successfully neutralized. The CR17 brigade hogged the headlines early this year to promote the candidacy of Ramaphosa but the campaign seems to have run out of steam.

There is something strange happening in the ANC, especially the KZN province of the party. The province appears to enjoy special status in the organisation. Of late when president Zuma feels under pressure from the many problems that he is going through, he retreats to his provincial base to mobilize support for himself in what is known as the ANC’s biggest province. What is worrisome is that when he retreats to KZN Zuma speaks in Zulu to say things he feels uncomfortable saying anywhere else in the country. He organizes his own cadre forums, village meetings and church gatherings specifically for Zulu constituencies. This is a dangerous game.

Now, the ANCYL in the province also seems to be above the national structure. With the YL president almost completely discredited for his public support of the Gupta family and generally leading a clueless and apparently captured NEC, the Young Lions in KZN have virtually taken over the national structure. Major events of political import are hosted in Ethekwini these days with national Youth Leaders summoned to the kingdom to grace occasions.

Hlaudi Motsoeneng has discovered the power of the ANC in KZN. He has endeared himself with the leadership of the ANCYL in the province on his way to power. With his downgraded status and his days numbered at the SABC, Hlaudi is trying to carve himself a political career in the ANC and KZN offers him limitless possibilities; it is the critical centre of power in the organisation. It is reliably learnt that the Premier League has crunched its numbers and has come to a conclusion that if it intensifies its work in the Free State, Northwest, Mpumalanga, KZN, Ekurhuleni and Tshwane, it will have 60% of the delegates in next year’s conference. This without whatever support it will gather in other provinces.

What the calculation above means is that if Hlaudi is nominated by KZN and Free State, his chances of success are high indeed. The way ANC slate politics works, even a monkey will be elected to office once on the dominant slate at a national conference.

So, prepare yourself for a ride as Hlaudi Motsoeneng takes over to change South Africa in six months.

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