ANC NEC members sit down to address the media at a briefing. (Karabo Ngoepe, News24)
Pretoria – Removing President Jacob Zuma as ANC leader is not on the agenda of discussions about last week's elections, secretary general Gwede Mantashe said on Thursday.
“I will never go to any political party and put a condition to say ‘remove your leader’. If it is done to us, it is an issue we must deal with in the negotiations,” Mantashe told reporters in Pretoria.
Several parties, including the EFF, had reportedly demanded that the ANC sack Zuma as a condition for them to enter into coalitions with the ANC after last week’s local government elections.
There was no item on the agenda of the ANC national executive committee’s 4-day meeting entitled “president”, Mantashe said.
Instead, party members would discuss coalitions.
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“In 27 municipalities, including four metros, there is no outright winner. Why do we look into coalitions? Is it a thing of power? Is it about keeping the DA out?
“Is it about being part of a coalition government? What is the basis for a coalition? We are not discussing the EFF per se, we are discussing coalitions,” he said.
Negotiations for coalitions would differ based on the circumstances of each municipality.
The party would attend to those who did not vote for the ANC and tell them they had heard their message.
He rejected claims that the ANC had been arrogant heading into the election, causing its support to fall to below 60% nationally.
“Arrogance is a question of an observation. Sometimes when I assert myself, you may feel I’m arrogant. I don’t want to get into those descriptions. There are quite a number of messages that have come through this election. We are interpreting them here and we are going to go back to the people,” he said.
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