Panyaza Lesufi is not ready to be president. The Gauteng Premier, 55, has categorically stated that he does not intend to contest the ANC presidency, setting aside rumours and speculation about his political ambitions. In an exclusive interview with Sunday World Engage, Lesufi emphasised his commitment to leading Gauteng’s people to new heights and made it clear that neither the position of the country’s leader nor the ANC’s leader aligns with his current aspirations.
According to Lesufi, there are more suitable candidates within the ANC who could potentially run for the presidency. This assertion comes as a surprise to many who had considered Lesufi, a potential contender for the position of ANC president in the December 2027 elections.
The national conference will likely be hotly contested, with current party secretary-general Fikile Mbalula and deputy president Paul Mashatile among the prominent candidates. Lesufi’s decision to abstain from the race is primarily seen as an effort to prevent splitting the Gauteng vote between him and Mashatile.
Lesufi highlighted his dedication to saving the ANC in Gauteng, stating that this mission will occupy him for the foreseeable future. He hinted that he might have retired from politics by the time of the ANC’s 2032 national conference.
In his own words, Lesufi stated, “I am not ready [to be president]. Not yet. I am still young; I need to learn. There is a full generation before me that must be given that responsibility.”
His primary focus remains on Gauteng, where he aims to combat the ANC’s electoral decline and secure an outright majority in the upcoming national elections. Lesufi expressed confidence that this goal is attainable with a dedicated effort from ANC leaders and members in the province.
Lesufi acknowledged the challenges posed by competing political parties in the race for the position of premier in Gauteng but affirmed his belief that the ANC will retain an outright majority. He is ready to work tirelessly to achieve this, even sacrificing personal time and hobbies.
Despite the hurdles ahead, Lesufi is encouraged by recent internal election research that suggests an increase in the ANC’s support base in Gauteng. He remains committed to the ANC’s cause and is determined to ensure the party’s success in the province.
Lesufi concluded by expressing his commitment to securing an outright majority for the ANC in Gauteng without the need for coalition partners, stressing that coalition discussions could potentially harm the province and the country’s future.
Picture: X / TheTruthPanther
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