ANC not in turmoil – Mantashe

2013-03-18 16:03

The African National Congress is not in a state of turmoil, secretary general Gwede Mantashe has said.

“Rectification is not turmoil,” Mantashe told reporters in Johannesburg today.

“When you correct your organisation you are not in turmoil; it means you are in a phase of strengthening the organisation. Strengthening the organisation is not a once-off activity, it’s an ongoing process.”

This followed the decision by the ANC national executive committee to dissolve the ANC Youth League’s NEC and the Limpopo provincial executive committee (PEC).

The decision was taken at a three-day NEC meeting held in Irene, south of Pretoria at the weekend.

Mantashe said the fact that the ANC could identify areas where there were problems and confront them reflected a healthy organisation.

“A sick organisation runs away from problems and digs its head in the sand... the ANC doesn’t do that.”

Mantashe denied that dissolving the ANCYL NEC and the Limpopo PEC was a purging exercise.

“The Mangaung conference has come and gone... we don’t go around purging people,” he said.

“You cannot be flat-footed and do nothing when things go wrong, because you fear that you will be seen as purging.”

He said the dissolving of the ANCYL leadership was as a consequence of its continued ill-disciplined behaviour that brought the organisation into disrepute on numerous occasions.

An interim team would be selected and put in place by the national working committee.

The task team, which would be called the national task team (NTT) of the ANCYL, would take over responsibility of the league’s NEC.

“It [the NTT] will be young people. You [are] not going to find people with grey beards like me there,” said Mantashe.

“[The NTT] will work on rebuilding the youth league and also trying to give us a face that will appeal to young people... you don’t need to be rowdy to lead the youth league.”

He said knowledge needed to be a key component of leadership.

The NEC had instructed all processes be stopped immediately with regard to the pending provincial and regional conferences of the ANCYL.

Some were trying to rush these conferences, and members were being bought so that leaders could be elected.

“We can’t have a leadership that is instant,” said Mantashe.

“The... difference between filter coffee and instant coffee is quality.”

ANCYL deputy president Ronald Lamola had been leading the ANC’s youth wing since its leader Julius Malema was expelled from the party last year.

Last week, in an interview with Sowetan newspaper, Lamola said the ANCYL’s leadership would quell the anarchy which characterised it last year.

He said the ANCYL was going to toe President Jacob Zuma’s line.

Mantashe said it was important for the ANC to sort out problems otherwise “your house will collapse on you“.

“We want a youth league of the ANC that appeals to the young people in society and unfortunately society doesn’t forget and say ’no you behaved in a particular... way before Mangaung and now you have changed’ and they forget,” he said.

Mantashe said the structures of the ANCYL needed to be rebuilt.

The Limpopo PEC was dissolved for having “un-ANC behaviour and institutionalised factional conduct”.

It would be replaced with an interim structure that would be given nine months to work towards convening a provincial conference.

A list of the provincial task team was being decided during a meeting today. A provincial general council would be held in Limpopo on Sunday.

Mantashe said there were a number of issues in the province in which there was no leadership, but there were groupings, and the ANC was paying the price.

“These issues cannot go unnoticed by the ANC,” he said.

Mantashe said dissolving the PEC would not affect government positions.

Provincial chairman Cassel Mathale is also the Limpopo premier.

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