ANC is heading for a formal split: analyst

A political analyst believes that the ANC has already split ‘in spirit’, and will not be able to agree on a successor to current president Jacob Zuma before its elective conference in December 2017.

Professor Lesiba Teffo, politcal analyst at Unisa told Talk 702: “It’s already split – but what we don’t have is a formal split.”

Teffo’s comments come amid warnings from ANC headquarters at Luthuli House for party members to speak in public about the NPA’s decision to charge finance minister Pravin Gordhan with fraud.

Both ANC Chief Whip Jackson Mthembu, and Gauteng Premier David Makhura, have shown support for the embattled finance lead,  while the ANC Women’s League have shown their support for the NPA.

“We believe in your ethical leadership. We believe in your ability to face this moment as you work hard and do your best to steer the economy collectively, on the right path,” said Makhura.

“We trust as you go through this you will feel our weight, and not just feel the burden of the responsibility of being minister of finance.

“The truth will come out. The truth is too strong to be kept secret,” Makhura said.

Teffo said that the division in opinion within the ruling party is telling. “Their conduct seems to be saying to me, increasingly, more people are likely to be alienated from the ruling party. In short they are not doing themselves any good at all. If anything, they are campaigning inadvertently for the opposition parties.”

He said that the fact that the party cannot speak in one voice means that there is already a split. “The formalisation of the split is what we are waiting for,” he said.

Colin Coleman, a partner and head of Goldman Sachs Group in South Africa, told Bloomberg TV: “There is clearly a sharpening of the knives between the various factions within the ANC.”

Wayne McCurrie, a financial analyst at Ashburton Investments, said that the Gordhan issue is a continuation of the biggest crisis for the ANC and South Africa post 1994.

He said that if  the ANC leadership does not rise and deal with this internal strife decisively, the country will get a downgrade and the ANC will be shattered as a party.

The analyst said that the country should thank president Zuma for Nenegate. This galvanized the anti-Zuma factions and got Gordhan in.

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ANC is heading for a formal split: analyst