Lindiwe Sisulu ready to take on Cyril Ramaphosa

Lindiwe Sisulu ready to take on Cyril Ramaphosa

Tourism Minister and ANC NEC member Lindiwe Sisulu has been out on the field for an early start to her campaign for the ANC presidency, and to stomp her foot in challenging Cyril Ramaphosa.

Political analyst Andre Duvenhage said there are clear indications Sisulu will enter the race, since she began her campaign in January, when she criticised the judiciary and the constitution.

She is not alone on the campaign trail because the Ramaphosa camp has begun a subtle campaign, with their endorsement of the president’s second term.

“Indications are that she will compete for either president or deputy president of the ANC, in which case she will be the most senior and influential candidate to stand against Ramaphosa.

“It’s quiet on the surface, but it’s getting hot underneath, but as long as Sisulu is doing it within the rules, she has a right to campaign no matter when she started,” Duvenhage said.

Usually the party would not deal with election matters or campaigning before its elective national conference – but only focus on policy matters in preparation for the pre-national conference policy gathering.

ANC treasurer-general Paul Mashatile said conference discussion papers would be finalised this month and then published in a special addition of the ANC’s journal, Umrabulo, for discussion and inputs from party structures and members of society.

Sisulu has hit the ground running. Some said her early start was meant to test the waters and set the base for her campaign.

As solace, Ramaphosa offered Sisulu a Cabinet post, sacrificing his first choice for deputy president, current Minister of International Relations and Cooperation Naledi Pandor.

Ramaphosa later changed his mind and opted for David Mabuza, who promised to donate the Mpumalanga ANC votes to Ramaphosa in return for the job.

Last weekend, Sisulu was in the Northern Cape but few members attended her meeting.

Duvenhage said: “I think it is too early for her to campaign, but this clearly shows she is serious.

“She is going to get support from the RET [Radical Economic Transformation] group; she is most closely linked to (former chair) Supra Mahumapelo in the North West.”

Sisulu made a controversial entrance into the contest when she attacked the judiciary and in an opinion piece lambasted the constituta

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