ANC Chairman Cyril Ramaphosa during the #Letsema campaign in northwest Litchtenburg.
- At an ANC service delivery meeting in the north-west on Saturday, ANC elections chief Fikile Mbalula campaigned strongly for a second term for Cyril Ramaphosa.
- Last week, Ramaphosa faced criticism from contender Zweli Mkhize, who, despite not naming him, said the ANC needed change.
- Mbalula gave a counter campaign speech that spoke of Ramaphosa’s successes, saying he should be protected and not isolated.
ANC chief elections officer Fikile Mbalula continued his campaign for a second term for President Cyril Ramaphosa ahead of the national conference and said he should not be isolated as some have alluded.
Mbalula, who is running for the post of secretary general in the ANC’s elective co-conference, has placed himself at the center of support for Ramaphosa.
Mbalula came to Ramaphosa’s defense, saying he was the man for the job and committed to serving the country.
The ANC national executive committee member said there was a widespread perception that Ramaphosa was out of touch and lacking in public commitment and charisma.
A key campaigner for Ramaphosa’s second term bid, Mbalula told North West ANC branches on Saturday that the crowd gathered at the ANC’s service delivery campaign event proved that Ramaphosa was a man who listened.
“The president has always been available. We are building the organization, and other colleagues may not be happy with the result, but these conferences come and go, sometimes with scares, but we live beyond the conferences. And comrades, we are going to win,” Mbalula said.
“People say Ramaphosa is not a people’s person, but he is, and you can see that here. He didn’t go around saying he wanted to be elected. We’re the ones working.”
Ramaphosa was in the north-west on Saturday as part of the ANC’s Letsema service delivery campaign. These events have turned into political praise rallies for his backers.
READ | Mkhize leads top six anti-Ramaphosa candidates in regretting ANC leadership and calling for change
Mbalula told ANC branches and party supporters that Ramaphosa could not be isolated or attacked.
He said that impeachments were expected before the conference, but that the attacks on the president were not justified.
Referring to the 2017 Nasrec conference, the Transport Minister added that its result was accepted and the upcoming conference in December would be no different.
There are those who say that it should be isolated. Some have attacked our president. You don’t do that. This president has led from the front, and when I say that, they say I’m singing for my dinner.
Ramaphosa leads the ANC’s presidential nominations with 2,037 nominations compared to 916 for Zweli Mkhize.
The president has faced increasing pressure as investigations into the 2020 robbery at his Limpopo Phala Phala farm progress.
This week, the independent panel appointed by Parliament to determine whether Ramaphosa has a case to answer regarding the theft will present its report by November 30.
Along with this investigation, Ramaphosa is campaigning to win support for a second term as ANC chairman.
He is up against former health minister and national executive committee member Mkhize, who has painted a bleak picture of the ANC’s failures under Ramaphosa, for the presidency.
READ | Ramaphosa in top position as the ANC election committee prepares to announce the top six nominations
Last week, Mkhize spoke at two campaign meetings, one in Gauteng and the other in KwaZulu-Natal, where he described a leadership that was out of touch with citizens and their grievances.
He pointed to the shedding of cargo that had cost the ANC electoral support, unemployment and crime as the most significant factors the ANC had to change with a new leadership election at the national conference.
Mkhize said that people were so upset by the electricity crisis that they found it difficult to take the ANC seriously.