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Ramaphosa to have ‘frank discussion’ with Zuma

President Cyril Ramaphosa is set to have a “frank discussion” with his predecessor Jacob Zuma following concerns in the party that Zuma’s comments on issues such as land go against the ANC’s own policies, the Sunday Times reported.

File picture of President Jacob Zuma and Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa at the Freedom Day celebrations in April 2017 (Photo GCIS)
File picture of then President Jacob Zuma and Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa at the Freedom Day celebrations in April 2017 (Photo GCIS)

The meeting is reportedly not expected to be antagonistic but Ramaphosa’s advisers also want him to talk to Zuma about his stance on controversial issues such as state capture and his court cases.

There are reportedly fears that Zuma’s speaking out on issues that do not reflect party policy could create divisions in the party.

A source reportedly said Ramaphosa will also ask Zuma to rally behind the ANC’s election campaign, which is expected to focus on land and jobs.

According to the publication, while the party’s official position on land is expropriation without compensation is that it is necessary, Zuma recently advocated for the nationalisation of land, which is the EFF’s policy, in a tweet.

The former president has also reportedly rejected any notion of state capture, although formally, the ANC supports the Zondo Commission of Inquiry investigating state capture.

ANC spokesperson Zizi Kodwa reportedly confirmed that Ramaphosa and Zuma were going to meet, although he told the Sunday Times that this was no different to how Ramaphosa had sought the counsel of former presidents Thabo Mbeki and Kgalema Motlanthe.

Meanwhile, the ANC has finalised its list of around 200 members to be sent to Parliament after the 2019 general elections, who will now be subject to further vetting.

The candidates will also be given the opportunity to accept or decline the nomination. The process will be completed by the end of January.

ANC NEC officials and acting national spokespeople Dakota Legoete and Zizi Kodwa yesterday announced the outcomes of the party’s list conference following a two-day meeting in Durban.

The party announced that more than 800 names had been debated and discussed. The top 25% of names on provincial lists will go into a “safe zone”.

Kodwa said the party was not in a position to mention any names yet, not even a “top 10”.

While the party has said this will not affect its national list conference, eNCA reported that ANC sources have privately confirmed that there is great concern about this.

Kodwa has meanwhile downplayed reports that Ramaphosa will meet Zuma to discuss Zuma’s recent public comments.

Kodwa yesterday said that a meeting between the two was scheduled, but that it was simply a standard meeting that often takes place between ANC presidents and their predecessors.

Responding to questions from the media, Kodwa said reports about the meeting between Ramaphosa and Zuma were “mischievous”, as no one was privy to the details of the discussions between them.

Since his election as President, Ramaphosa had met with former presidents Thabo Mbeki and Kgalema Motlanthe, and the Zuma meeting “follows” those meetings, Kodwa said.

He said these meetings were to discuss various issues, but also to “give them tasks”. As they were still members of the ANC, Ramaphosa still gave them tasks to complete for the party, Kodwa said. – Sapa