Manuel: I'm out

2012-12-16 10:30
Trevor Manuel. Picture: Sapa

Trevor Manuel. Picture: Sapa

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Bloemfontein - Planning Minister Trevor Manuel’s shock decision to quit active ANC politics doesn’t mean he is angry with the governing party.

However, he believes that the ANC’s values are being destroyed by the current competition for leadership positions, that it is time for younger leaders to take over, that the party’s policy-making is poor and that Parliament is weak.

In an exclusive interview with City Press, moments after it was revealed that Manuel had declined nomination to the ANC’s national executive committee (NEC), the veteran politician said he wanted to play a “different kind of role”.

Manuel told City Press he took the decision “as a matter of principle”.

The ANC’s national elective conference was rocked on Saturday when Manuel and another struggle stalwart, Deputy Public Works Minister Jeremy Cronin, announced that they would not continue serving in the ANC’s leadership structures.

“After 21 and a half years, you ask: do I still have the hunger?” Manuel said.

"It is time for young people to come through the system. I want to try to mentor. I feel there’s a duty to do that now.

“If everything is a competition, you destroy values [as is being done now]. If this happens, you cannot draw on the skills and expertise [of people who leave after brutal competition]. This was clear at Polokwane,” he said.

President Jacob Zuma is being challenged by his deputy, Kgalema Motlanthe, for the ANC’s presidency.

Manuel’s wish is for a smaller NEC “of fewer cadres and better-quality discussions”. He said Parliament was “weak” at overseeing policymaking and implementation.

“We need to develop nuance. I was saying to somebody the other day that we make policy as if we are on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange, where the loudest shouters get the biggest bids. It’s not a marketplace. Policymaking is more complex and nuanced.”

Read more on:    anc  |  trevor manuel  |  jacob zuma  |  kgalema motlanthe  |  bloemfontein  |  mangaung 2012  |  politics

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