ANC will deal with leaks ‘decisively’ – Mantashe

2010-09-21 07:22

The leaking of ANC leadership discussions and decisions to the media must be dealt with “decisively”, ANC secretary general Gwede Mantashe has said.

“The leakage of NEC [national executive committee] discussions and decisions to the media are a regular feature of this leadership structure,” read the organisational report delivered by Mantashe to the ANC’s national general council in Durban yesterday.

“Agendas of the NEC are shaped and influenced in the media, with comrades blatantly projecting what they want discussed.

“This tendency weakens the leadership of the ANC in the public eye as it projects this august body as lacking the necessary ability to discuss serious matters confidentially and communicate accordingly.”

The ANC’s top leadership body has decided that the top six officials should “deal decisively” with anyone found leaking information to the media.

Mantashe’s report said the NEC was “timid” in dealing with members “usurping the right of being spokespersons of the movement”.

This created the impression of an “incoherent leadership voice” to the public at large. Public spats, the report read, dented the image of the ANC and had to stop.

“In the majority of cases when serious decisions are made, they are perceived as leadership succumbing to group interests.

“The NEC decision that all public spats must cease, and anybody who crosses the line must face the consequences, is a serious resolution applicable to all the structures of the ANC.”

One comrade, one position
The NEC has also taken a decision on members holding more than one leadership position in the party at different levels.

“The NEC is of the view that in the next National Conference [2012] the constitution must expressly prohibit comrades from holding more than one position in the organisation. This view is informed by the understanding that all these responsibilities are important for the organisation to operate optimally.”

Mantashe’s report also addressed the “temptation” to debate the leadership question too early. It said this was causing “instability” in the ANC.

“The NEC has taken a firm decision that it should be stopped, as any lobbying for positions by its nature is divisive.

Lobbying is an important political activity that should never be relegated to conspiracy.

“Public pronouncements on the so-called succession debate have, at least at the public level, somewhat quietened down.”

According to the report, the NEC had thus far performed “well”.

“We must, however, continue to invest time and resources in ensuring that there is maximum unity in the movement.

We must continue being rooted among the people, earn their support and never take it for granted.”

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