Nkandla a ‘non issue’ for ordinary people – Gwede Mantashe

2014-04-05 09:46

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ANC secretary-general Gwede Mantashe said the Nkandla saga was a preoccupation of the media and it does not come up when the ruling party interacts with prospective voters and ordinary people.

Mantashe, in an exclusive interview with City Press in Maclear, Eastern Cape where he has been doing door-to-door campaigning, said Nkandla was a “non issue” among ordinary people as they were more concerned about service delivery.

“The reality is that Nkandla does not come up when we interact with the people. In fact we just explain it voluntarily. It doesn’t arise. As I always say, it’s a preoccupation of the media. In reality it is not an issue for the people,”

“People here want houses, they want streets and proper electricity supply, a water supply and roads, that’s what they want,” Mantashe said.

Mantashe was campaigning in the small town and urging prospective voters to vote for the ruling party. As he handed out fliers, he said he was happy with the campaign so far.

“People overwhelmingly love the ANC. But justifiably, they raise issues they are not happy with. Service delivery becomes a source of grievance, so as we campaign we are also developing a programme to deal with the issues people are raising,” Mantashe said.

He told hundreds at a mini-rally in Maclear that they should vote for the ANC so that the party could consolidate the progress it had made in the past 20 years.

“South Africa is a better place than it was in 1994. Indeed, we have a good story to tell,” he said.

Asked about the ruling party’s view on the ruling by the South Gauteng High Court regarding the DA and the ANC SMS court case, Mantashe said: “That is not a big deal to me. All we wanted to do was to prove the justice system and test it, because what is interesting is a case of the DA making the same call in the Western Cape.”

Mantashe added: “The most important thing for me is that if justice allows a free for all in politics, politics is going to be ugly in the long run. Politics must be regulated, people must play according to the rules and people must not see you as an enemy but as an opponent,”

Commenting on Zwelinzima Vavi’s suspension being ruled irregular and overturned by the courts yesterday, Mantashe said his view had always been that the matter was political and therefore needed to have been resolved politically.

“The problem with courts is that they give you a judgment, but they will not go to a political gathering and resolve political tensions. Our comrades must humble themselves and deal with the political contradictions in the federation,” Mantashe said.

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