Johannesburg - Corruption, thieves and factionalism are destroying the ANC and will ruin it, ANC Secretary General Gwede Mantashe has warned.Money was another thing that would lead to the party’s downfall if it stayed on the path it was on, he said in Evaton on Tuesday, ahead of the ANC's 105th anniversary celebrations at the weekend."There are three things that will destroy the ANC before we know it. One is corruption, thieves. We have no shortage of them. The second is factionalism, where members of the ANC are loyal to different leaders."The third is accidental leadership succession, where we have leaders who battle for leadership bypass. The three are interlinked. They use the money, and the ANC is not in control. If we continue this way, next year we are gone. We can just abandon the ANC," he said. Mantashe said that ANC branches needed to choose their next leaders on merit, not popularity."What is important is not the elective conference, but the re-education of branches to appreciate that every branch of the ANC must learn the concept of truth behind the name."Failure to do so would mean branch members would fall victim to people who "meet in dark corners and throw names at you"."You discover then that the leadership you have been dealt is corrupt. You must choose comrades with strengths."He advised ANC branches to discuss candidates and ask them to explain why they were running. Mantashe cautioned ANC leaders that the party would lose the 2019 national elections if it continued to sideline its biggest support groups in places like Alexandra and Evaton."If we don't take care of Evaton and Alex, we are going to be in trouble."