20/01/2017 07:44 SAST | Updated 20/01/2017 10:27 SAST

Hold On -- A New Elective Process Could Be Happening, Says ANC's Ramaphosa

The ANC's deputy president says the rules of electing leaders within the party might change.

Edgar Su / Reuters
ANC Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa.

Cyril Ramaphosa says the manner in which the party elects leaders is likely to change during the upcoming policy conference in June, Business Day reported on Friday.

The ANC deputy president's comments come as no surprise as the party has returned from its elective conferences seriously bruised and divided, resulting in people calling for a way to elect leaders without tearing the organisation apart.

"There are quite a number of people who are coming up with proposals. Some of them have said we ought to have primaries where leaders, or would-be leaders, go engage with the structure. Others say: 'No, maybe you shouldn't.' There will be a very robust debate, and that can only happen at the policy conference, which would then lead to the amendment of the [ANC] constitution, and thereafter we may have a new dispensation," he told the publication.

In what could be described as the worst kept secret in the politics world, Ramaphosa is among the front runners for the top post in the party and he is set to go up against outgoing African Union chairperson Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma in December. Although the party has not yet pronounced on the succession battle nor opened the floor for nominations, both their names have been thrown out by structures.

Before the elective conference, the party must first deal with the policy conference in June, where the party would be able to find solutions that either unify the organisation or deepen its divisions.

Ramaphosa said the policy conference in June would discuss changing the way the ANC chooses its leaders, and that it was likely that changes would be made. Whatever is agreed upon would, however, have to be ratified by the national conference at the end of the year before they can be implemented.