In just under a month, the ANC will make decisions that will impact on who will become the next president of this country. At this stage, no newspaper can be opened without severe criticism of President Jacob Zuma, whose presidency has been labelled in reports as divisive, scandal-plagued, and unpopular. But, looking at the pro- and anti- Zuma debate, he seems to have been given the thumbs up by most of the ANC alliance partners. Karima Brown, a well known CNBC Africa anchor for the current affairs show Political Exchange, explained the Zuma factor to Radio Islam listeners. She said that is incorrect to suggest the individuals(such as Malema Vavi etc) brought Zuma to power, but rather it is the structure who those people represent, that have not turned their backs on him. She added that Zuma has managed to entrenched himself, despite the fact that the ANC is deeply divided, and despite the financial global crises which has put a brake on the job creation initiatives of the party. Karim Brown also pointed out the Zuma has defeated COPE in 2009 which was a breakaway party from the ANC, defeated the DA in municipal elections where the DA promised to take municipalities like Nelson Mandela bay and key municipalities in Johannesburg. She added the rank and file of the ANC believes he can take the party forward and they make the decisions. Zuma also has the numbers in key area like KwaZulu Natal. She said the key questions is not whether he will remain the president, but the questions is who will be his deputy.
Karima Brown pointed out that the Zuma camp has already made plans for a plan B by looking at Cyril Ramaphosa in case things don’t go as planned. She said is not accidental that provinces like KwaZulu Natal and Mpumalanga has put Ramaphosa’s name forward so obviously there has been some degree of caucus, as he sits on a number of important committees, and it is obvious he is playing a more active role this year compared to previously. She added that given his name coming out so clearly without even running a campaign suggests he is being considered for a senior leadership positions in the party. Karima Brown said that the history of the ANC dictates that there should NOT be a different head of the party at Lutuli house and a different one at the union buildings.
Karima Brown added that neither camps wants to keep the other side on if they win. Even if there is a change in leadership, she said that the delivery of services will still suffer as the structures are still corrupt and the relationship with alliance partners is also questionable. She said in 2012 the ANC must make the better policy decisions and the economic policy has been good to the middle class. Karima Brown pointed out that the program directed at the bulk of the supporters will be the most important thing. She said the big thing for the ANC is to be able to convince the public that it is able to govern. Karima Brown predicts that in 2014 the ANC will have a larger majority given that Zuma has allowed people to talk, like the public protector, and this creates confidence in the independent bodies that can call on the government to answer questions.