As is always the case, the aftermath of elections is always littered with political injuries, both minor and profound, and in some extreme cases, political corpses. This will be in everyone’s mind on Monday when the Zuma-led African National Congress meets at various levels to discuss the appointment of premiers in the eight provinces where it won during the polls.
According to insiders in the ruling party, the home of contention is the country’s economic hub, Gauteng. Apparently, the provincial leadership of the ANC has put forward three names for the appointment to Gauteng Premier and that list is made up of the province’s longest serving secretary, David Makhura, the provincial Education MEC, Barbra Creecy, and Ntombi Mekgwe who is the incumbent housing MEC. The controversy, however, has to do with the fact that, despite the fact that these names have been forwarded to the president, there are strong indications that he will go with the current premier, Nomvula Makhonyane. The reason for this choice, according to many insiders, would be most likely for the president to make the point that he does not have to go with the proposals of the Provincial Executive Committee (PEC) as well as to reward Makhonyane for the loyalty illustrated during the past election.
The Makhonyane dimension is strengthened by the fact that she snubbed an appointment to the National Assembly, sparking rumors that she was assured of retaining her Gauteng top job. According to several political analysts, the appointment of Makhonyane will sustain what many have attributed to the poor showing of the province during the just ended poll. ANC insiders claim that the ‘two centers of power’ where the party’s chairperson of the province is not the premier of that province was directly responsible for the party’s poor showing in the election. Overall, the ruling party lost a tenth of their support, according to the poll results and was on the verge of losing its majority mandate in the province. In other provinces where ANC walked away with the result, the chairperson of the province automatically becomes the premier and this has lent credence to the claim about the party’s showing in Gauteng.