Trevor Manuel (Werner Beukes, Sapa)
Johannesburg - Outgoing Planning Minister Trevor Manuel is not a free agent and is still a member of the ANC, he told Power FM on Wednesday.
"I have been able to demonstrate that I am in fact not a free agent but a member of the ANC...if he [Gwede Mantashe] does not like me as member of the ANC, well, he is just a functionary of the ANC after all," Manuel told Power FM presenter Tim Modise during an interview.
Manuel was responding to ANC secretary general Gwede Mantashe's remarks that he refused to take any responsibilities within the ANC national executive committee and was therefore a free agent.
Mantashe likened Manuel to former Cabinet ministers Jay Naidoo and Ronnie Kasrils whom he said had a lot to say now that they were no longer in government.
Mantashe had retaliated against Manuel's warning against attacks on Public Protector Thuli Madonsela in an article in the Sunday Times newspaper.
Manuel said that the country's democracy was fading.
"He [Mantashe] is not above the ANC constitution, he cannot put me out of the ANC... he cannot declare me a free agent. If I had a thin skin I wouldn't have survived this long in the struggle or politics… it's okay. I think Gwede will come around."