ANC ‘cannot afford to gamble’

2017-11-03 06:00
PHOTO: thami ka-nkosiTalk between Gwede Mantashe and Mzwandile Mkhwanazi.

PHOTO: thami ka-nkosiTalk between Gwede Mantashe and Mzwandile Mkhwanazi.

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ANC General Secretary Gwede Mantashe said the party cannot afford to gamble with leadership and should manage succession and explain why the deputy should not succeed the president.

Mantashe was addressing ANC supporters at a cadre forum in Gamalakhe TVET, where he also said the wearing of T-shirts supporting the party’s presidential race candidates tampered with loyalty to the party.

He said he had been criticised for questioning why the party’s deputy, Cyril Ramaphosa, should not ascend to the presidency in a smooth hand- over.

“I have been attacked for raising a basic question. I have not campaigned for anybody, I just raised a basic and simple question asking how can a movement that is 105 years old allow succession to be a free-for-all? It can’t be.

“What kind of a liberation movement that is revolutionary allows its leadership succession to be a free-for- all? That’s my question and I will ask it every day,” he said.

Mantashe said there was no tradition that deputy presidents should succeed the president, but the party should manage succession and not gamble with it.

“Comrade Zuma had this experience, therefore he should have the wisdom to manage the transition. If a deputy is not elected as the president there should be an explanation given to the organisation detailing his weaknesses about why he can’t lead,” Mantashe said.

He said this would help the ANC be at peace with itself.

Mantashe said the party was not looking for a female president because there is no principle that says so.

“A woman president is elected at the women’s league conference.”

“There is nothing wrong for an old movement like ours to say ‘to manage the transition we think the time has arrived to have a female leader’ and they say we should get a deputy president that is a woman. In that way, we’re managing transition,” Mantashe said.

He said the party lacked a leadership with character that embodied Oliver­ Tambo’s ability to handle constructive engagement with criticism.

“We must deal with criticism constructively, criticism directed at us leadership must not make us angry.”

He said branch leaders should be working to get every member of the ANC into the BGM.

He also called for members to refrain from wearing T-shirs and singing songs in support of the presidential race candidate.

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