‘Zuma top of list won’t lose ANC votes’

2014-01-29 00:00

THE African National Congress is not worried that President Jacob Zuma tops its list of candidates for the coming elections, said the ANC’s secretary-general Gwede Mantashe yesterday.

Mantashe was briefing the media after the ANC’s two-day lekgotla and the party’s list conference that were held in Pretoria at the weekend and on Monday.

He said the ANC would not reveal its candidate list for Parliament and the provinces before the election date was announced, but admitted Zuma was on top of the list.

Zuma must still announce the national election date.

Mantashe railed against people who believe there were ANC members who felt the party would lose votes with Zuma on top of the candidate list.

“No one inside the ANC has said so,” Mantashe said at Luthuli House in Johannesburg.

He said the ANC’s national executive committee had agreed with the principle to deploy former ministers, premiers, MECs, MPLs and even former presidents and their deputies to strengthen local government where it was needed.

He said there should be no problem with a former minister being a mayor of a “small dorpie” and there was nothing wrong with President Jacob Zuma, when he retires serving on the local council in Nkandla as an ordinary councillor.

He said the ANC’s policy was that members who stand accused of transgressions must withdraw themselves voluntarily from leadership positions inside the party or any other deployment.

He praised the recent intervention at the Madibeng municipality, where a new mayor was elected after the former mayor had resigned with her chief whip and speaker, after service delivery protests against a water shortage left four people dead.

“It will be characteristic of how the ANC handles allegations of negligence, corruption and incompetence at all levels of government.”

Mantashe also railed against the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF), who recently referred to the ANC as the “African National Criminals”.

“We are 102 years old and cannot act like a child or teenager.”

He said many people do not want to believe the ANC when it said it had created five million job opportunities in the past five years.

He said the ANC’s own public opinion polls were more accurate than those of Ipsos, which had recently found that only 53% of South African would have voted for the ANC if the election happened at the end of last year.

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