Dlamini-Zuma tops the list as ANC chooses national executive
FORMER home affairs minister Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, now chairwoman of the African Union Commission, was the first member of the African National Congress’s new national executive committee (NEC) announced at its national elective conference in Mangaung on Thursday, the last day of the conference.
She had received the most votes in the election that took place on Wednesday. The 80-member NEC is the ruling party's highest decision-making body between conferences and general councils.
Also high up on the list were Minister of Public Enterprises Malusi Gigaba, in second place, and Public Service and Administration Minister Lindiwe Sisulu in third, along with Minister in the Presidency Collins Chabane, Justice Minister Jeff Radebe, Home Affairs Minister Naledi Pandor and Science and Technology Minister Derek Hanekom.
Senior ANC figures who supported the change campaign in Mangaung were nowhere to be seen on the list of the party’s top brass. Among those not elected were Sport and Recreation Minister Fikile Mbalula, ANC Gauteng chairman Paul Mashatile, Human Settlements Minister Tokyo Sexwale, former ANC deputy secretary-general Thandi Modise and former ANC treasurer-general Mathews Phosa.
Thoko Didiza, former minister of public works, joined the NEC too, and delegates cheered when the name of former Gauteng local government MEC Humphrey Mmemezi was read out. He resigned after it was revealed that he bought a painting at McDonald’s using a government credit card.
Former national police chief Bheki Cele, who was fired by President Jacob Zuma, also made the cut.
The party has also selected top financial minds in a bid to boost its financial prowess, a move likely to bring confidence to the party's top leadership structure in the eyes of investors. The economic boost to the NEC came in the form of Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan, Minister of Rural Development and Land Reform Gugile Nkwinti and former Reserve Bank governor Tito Mboweni.
Police Minister Nathi Mthethwa, Speaker of Parliament Max Sisulu and former Cabinet minister Z Pallo Jordan got the nod.
From the ANC’s alliance partners, South African Communist Party (SACP) general secretary Blade Nzimande and Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu) president Sdumo Dlamini were elected as well.
Other trade unionists also featured prominently, including National Education, Health and Allied Workers' Union general secretary Fikile Majola, National Union of Mineworkers president and SACP chairman Senzeni Zokwane and Free State Cosatu secretary Sam Mashinini.
Joining the other NEC members on stage were ANC spokesman Jackson Mthembu, Health Minister Aaron Motsoaledi and ANC economic policy chief Enoch Godongwana.
In a nod to the younger generation in the ANC, former ANC Youth League treasurer Pule Mabe and former presidential spokesman Zizi Kodwa were elected too.
Winnie Madikizela-Mandela, who received the most votes in the NEC election at Polokwane in 2007, squeezed into the second-last spot this time.
Former ANC deputy president Kgalema Motlanthe had withdrawn from nomination to the NEC after losing the race for the party presidency to Mr Zuma earlier this week.
Others who had not made themselves available for election to the NEC were Planning Minister Trevor Manuel, Cosatu general secretary Zwelinzima Vavi and former Free State provincial leader Ace Magashule, whose provincial executive committee was disbanded after the Constitutional Court last week declared the Free State elective conference invalid.