No calls made for Zuma to step down - Mantashe

ANC secretary general Gwede Mantashe (Karabo Ngoepe, News24)
ANC secretary general Gwede Mantashe (Karabo Ngoepe, News24)

Pretoria – The ANC National Executive Committee recognises that it is collectively responsible for the party’s poor showing during the local government elections.

Speaking at the end of the party's four-day NEC meeting on Sunday, ANC secretary general Gwede Mantashe said the party had political and not technical discussions over the decline in support.

“We talk of collective leadership all the time. If we wanted to point fingers at the president many would have said are we so weak that we do not determine the direction of the organisation collective?” Mantashe asked.

The ANC now aims to visit different provinces to meet with alliance structures and different sectors and communities.

It said it will also investigate and act on reports of violations of the candidate selection process, and will seek to embark on training its councillors to ensure they lead municipalities in the interests of the people.

While raising questions over the electoral system, Mantashe said the ANC had accepted the 2016 local government election results. However, he said a formula needed to be looked into because he didn't believe the process was scientific and fair.

He denied that the ANC is undermining the DA and EFF.

“No performance should be exaggerated, show where the DA and the EFF grew. The ANC owns up to its disappointing performance.”

Mantashe added that the ANC was psychologically ready to be in the opposition benches.

He said while the ANC had been in discussion with various parties, it was also important to prepare for a possibility of being the opposition in council.

“It must not be seen as the ANC will go to war to govern, if we don’t have a deal we will end up in the opposition benches full stop,” he said.

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