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THE BIG STORY: CYRIL COMES OUT ON TOP IN ONGOING ANC DRAMA

There’s still ongoing drama in the ruling ANC over “leaked audio” from meetings of its top leaders. Looks like some people are taking advantage of those virtual Zoom sessions. Previously, NEC members had to leave their phones at the door to prevent these kinds of leaks. It must suck when you can’t trust your top leaders to keep a meeting confidential. 

But what it has told us is that, apparently, the gap between ANC factions is finally narrowing: more support is leaning towards Cupcake AKA President Cyril Ramaphosa and away from the Jacob Zuma-Ace Magashule camp. 

Five of the six ANC top officials are (in a word) gatvol with the factional politics playing out within the ruling party. Beleaguered secretary-general Magashule has lost the support of his deputy, Jessie Duarte. She finally distanced herself from him after she was implicated in some of the leaked recordings, and national chairperson Gwede Mantashe called out Magashule for trying to take the party down. We still don’t know if Magashule will step down from his position come the end of the month deadline (unlikely), but his lack of action will likely further isolate him within the ANC.

Magashule’s attempts to drag others down with him on the step-aside rule has also backfired. He tried to expand the definition of those charged with corruption to ALL those accused. People weren’t having it, and treasurer-general Paul Mashatile accused him of distorting NEC decisions. Plus Ramaphosa got a glowing reception from supporters in Ward 6 in eThekwini, traditionally a Zuma stronghold, according to “sources”. 

On the other hand, Zuma and Magashule met up in Nkandla – maybe for tea, maybe for a cry over their failing attempts to stay out of jail, or maybe both. 

Honestly, a lot of political reporting is just an extended gossip session so we’re mostly just spilling the tea for you to enjoy. But the state capture faction being on the back foot is good news. This ongoing internal bickering may seem exhausting but it takes a long time to turn the ANC and government car around after it was hurtling towards the cliff edge for so long under the former state capture crew. 

What we do know as fact is that the local government elections date this year has been announced! It was delayed thanks to that little thing called Covid. It’s now set for 27 October 2021.

This article appeared as part of The Wrap, 15 April 2021. Sign up to receive our weekly updates.

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