Lindiwe Sisulu. Picture: GCIS

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Lindiwe Sisulu’s campaign: Finally sobriety yet not without glaring contradictions

Everyone needs a mirror at some time; a mirror will show one’s true size. As we move on towards December 2017, we see some contenders and pretenders sobering up. Sisulu is the latest one to have looked into the mirror and she came back more sober, meaning she realised beyond sentiment she is not a contender for ANC president but a contender for deputy president depending who she partners with.
It is therefore not far-fetched to remonstrate Lindiwe Sisulu’s campaign has finally sobered. I said back in March she is not in any sense in contention for number one spot in the ANC she is at best a number two candidate. Back then I said she spells no threat to any of the real contenders namely Dr.Nkosazana Dlamini- Zuma and Cyril Ramaphosa.
Her aim from the start was to attempt breaking the hold on the women’s vote that Dlamini-Zuma has so as to harvest some women’s league votes to go and barter with CR for that number two spot. Sisulu simply does not have the clout by herself to run for a number one spot. Despite her recent attempts to project herself a serious contender for number one spot Sisulu and her followers know like many of us who follow ANC elections all to well she is not in that race. She is a contender for number two but a pretender for number one.
Eyewitness News carries a report today that she is still deciding on whether to join Ramaphosa’s campaign. This came on the back of a Sunday times report that the Ramaphosa campaign has dropped Zweli Mkhize as its deputy. Let me make a comment here, it appears the Ramaphosa campaign is oblivious to the fact that the ANC in 2017 will have a woman candidate either as president or deputy president.
You will recall not so long ago Gwede Mantashe came out explaining why he declined the offer to be Ramaphosa’s running mate. He cited the fact that the December conference will not get away with less than a woman candidature for either number one or two spots. Meaning Ramaphosa cannot attempt to have a male running mate in disregard of this pressing reality.
Thus when the Sunday Times who is a confirmed Ramaphosa endorsing news outlet shares with us that he has dropped Mkhize as running mate we are compelled to accept that Ramaphosa does not really embrace the female candidacy reality of 2017. We must ask, why is Ramaphosa not reading the signs of the times and why he has shown a truculence in persisting to have a all male candidacy firs with Mantashe and secondly with Mkhize.
It is also now claimed she has finally ditched Zweli Mkhize as running mate. This was from the start a wishful combination clearly not cognisant of the reality of where we are. We must assume that the intention with her campaign was pitting her as number one and Mkhize number two.
I am on record to have said both Sisulu and Mkhize are pretenders for the number one position they are contenders for number two depending how and with whom they partner. Therefore to have two number two contenders attempting to fly as a partnership was not just illogical but gravely miscalculated. It would appear Sisulu has finally sobered up from her inebriated state in claim of becoming the first woman to lead the ANC.
Sisulu’s expected overtures to the Ramaphosa campaign do not come without its own anomalies. Ramaphosa is finding himself in the doldrums of sex scandal claims and he is yet to answer the questions posed to him, which he attempted to deflect with a litany of interventions including a court case.
Ramaphosa therefore is not the champion of women’s rights despite his claims of a morality frame. He has to contend with the fact that he stands accused of being a private ‘blesser’ a practice he publicly condemns. Sisulu must accept that beyond the wild and convenient claims of intelligence involvement Ramaphosa’s scandals warrants a response from him she is therefore not exempted from having to share with us her stance on Ramaphosa should the evidence against him stands.
For the record Ramaphosa did not regard her from the start as his natural running mate for high office. She appears a forced third choice for him after he attempted to convince Mantashe and had Mkhize also as running mate. She therefore warrants explaining why she was not a natural choice for Ramaphosa and if his choice for her in this season is authentic and sincere. She recently shared with us that Ramaphosa invited her for dinner to which she responded, you rather come over I know how to cook.
We warrant knowing how she as a woman intends reconciling herself with the status of her running mate. She warrants taking us into confidence as to why she would be comfortable to enjoin herself to someone who plausibly has scant regard for women.
The challenge for her is to pronounce her comfort or discomfort with Ramaphosa campaign. Sisulu no different to Ramaphosa, Phosa and Mkhize have been vocal on state capture claims in which they were throwing mud on the incumbent with the hope that some of that mud will fall on Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma a contender for high office. Just as they attempted to smear her with the proxy war of her ex husband Sisulu cannot be exempted from a Ramaphosa shortfalls.
Ramaphosa has Marikana another cloud hanging over his head. His actions in the up-run to the dreadful day of August 16, 2012 can never be underestimated since he remains not welcome among those who suffered brutally. Lindiwe Sisulu must reconcile herself with the reality that her candidate partner having to potentially answer a court.
Marikana remains a dark moment in our democracy not only for the historical event but also for the reality that in the aftermath of this dastard event nothing significant has changed positively for mineworkers. They still live in squalor their living conditions have not improved.
Hitherto Sisulu whilst vocal on state capture have been silent on Marikana and its implications. Sisulu must therefore tell us why she is in concert with a candidate that has a historical Marikana and a more contemporary scandal.
It is important to underscore that both Ramaphosa and Sisulu have framed their respective campaign with morality as its anchor tenant.
It would appear that while political survival for Sisulu is anchored in her choice to join the Ramaphosa Campaign she warrants being public on the contradictions of Ramaphosa the person and his campaign and how these interact with her choices.
Sisulu thus in this season depicts an elections sobriety to know she is not campaigning for number one but for number two. Yet this reality that at best associates her with Ramaphosa as the true contender is not an easy one since she has to tell us why she is comfortable with these contradictions.
We expect the vocal Sisulu to share her views as she always does on here favourite topics. She must tell us why joining Ramaphosa is not an endorsement of his ‘blesser’ status and therefore an indictment for the rights of women in particular the younger generation in a season when we deplore the objectifying of our equally created women.
Political commentator Clyde Ramalaine. PICTURE: Supplied

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