ANC rift does not exist, Duarte insists

2013-05-09 20:16
(Picture: AFP)

(Picture: AFP)

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Guptas cause no rift in ANC

2013-05-08 09:52

The ANC says the so-called Guptagate has not divided the party. This comes in the wake of the Gupta family having landed a private jet at the Waterkloof Air Force base - a National Key Point. Watch. WATCH

Johannesburg - There is no rift between ANC secretary-general Gwede Mantashe and President Jacob Zuma over the recent Gupta aircraft saga, Mantashe's deputy Jessie Duarte has said.

"We sit here, and we know what is going on, and you might say: 'Yes, but you must protect them'. No, hell no.

"If there's a rift, there's a rift, but there is no rift," Duarte told Sapa in an interview this week.

"The problem, I think, is that the media tries to create [a rift]."

Reports this week claimed Mantashe and Zuma had "fallen out" over the landing of a private aircraft chartered by the Guptas, with wedding guests on board, at the Waterkloof Air Force Base on 30 April.

The incident was reportedly the final straw for Mantashe, who had privately expressed concerns that the family wielded too much influence in government and African National Congress affairs.

Mantashe released a statement calling on those responsible for authorising the aircraft to land to explain how they reached the decision.

Some media apparently considered the statement proof of a rift between the two leaders.

However, Duarte said the ANC's top leaders met every Monday and discussed such issues. Even though the statement was issued in Mantashe's name it was an ANC statement.

"We talk to each other. We say this is the issue, this is the problem, this is the way forward. We agree.

"... Surely a statement of this nature could not go out if there wasn't consensus among the top six, [which] there was on the matter," she said.

Duarte said the so-called rift existed in the minds of journalists.

"While the media might die and fall on its sword of sources, I think that, on this one, they have it terribly wrong and there is no evidence that they can prove that what they saying is even right, or correct, or has any merit whatsoever."

She said the media was trying to create rifts within the party as it had before the ANC's national conference in Mangaung last year.

"I think it's a game that is played to divide the ANC," Duarte said.

It is no secret that the ANC stalwart has a short fuse for the media, and has labelled it "oppositionist" and the enemy.

The relationship "is what it is", she said.

"Why we [the ANC] are very successful, and why you always get it wrong in the media, of what's going to happen at every conference of the ANC, is we [are] on the ground and we know what the people are saying, and you are not... You fly in the air and we are very grounded, and therefore sometimes we dismiss you out of hand. Which is a pity," Duarte said.

Read more on:    anc  |  gwede mantashe  |  jacob zuma  |  jessie duarte  |  gupta wedding  |  politics

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