ANC ‘coup’ claim stirs battle for succession


The Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU) is rushing to put out fires caused by a leaked report suggesting a plot to replace the African National Congress’s (ANC’s) top six leaders, Business Day reports today.

The paper adds the South African Communist Party (SACP), an ally to both COSATU and the ANC played down suggestions of a “coup”.

The SACP said the report referred to succession battles already in the public arena.

SACP spokesman Malesela Maleka yesterday confirmed that there had been discussions about the future look of the ANC and its senior members, but denied it came close to a coup attempt.

“COSATU is trying to analyse what is happening in the liberation movement at the moment and the draft report could well be rejected at the COSATU congress,” he said.

The SACP will today release its own analysis of the political situation before and after the pivotal December 2007 ANC elective conference in Polokwane that secured President Jacob Zuma`s come-back and ascendancy to the national presidency.  

COSATU`s draft political report, which is to be tabled at the 10th COSATU congress next week in Midrand and was leaked to the Sunday Independent newspaper, talks about an emerging group that “wants to introduce some changes in the top six”.

The newspaper speculated that the positions include those of ANC president Jacob Zuma , deputy president Kgalema Motlanthe , national chairwoman Baleka Mbete , secretary-general Gwede Mantashe, his deputy Thandi Modise and treasurer Mathews Phosa.

COSATU last week took aim at politicians who still have business interests. In a policy document leaked to Business Day ahead of next week`s congress, COSATU said politicians had to choose between their business and serving the country.

The people directly affected would be cabinet ministers such as Human Settlements Minister Tokyo Sexwale and Communications Minister Siphiwe Nyanda.

“There is a growing phenomenon where business people seek public office as they know this will work very well for their business interests during and after their stay in office,” the document averred.

Pic: ANC President- Jacob Zuma