CityPress - - Front Page - RA­PULE TA­BANE and CAI­PHUS KGOSANA ra­pule.ta­bane@city­, cai­phus.kgosana@city­

ANC sec­re­tary-gen­eral Gwede Man­tashe has taken another swipe at the party in Gaut­eng, say­ing mem­bers must choose be­tween be­ing “nor­mal” like other prov­inces and pay­ing to be the world-class re­gion they as­pire to.

Man­tashe was re­spond­ing to the Gaut­eng ANC’s op­po­si­tion to the prov­ince’s con­tro­ver­sial e-tolling sys­tem.

In an in­ter­view with City Press at his of­fice in Luthuli House, Man­tashe warned the Gaut­eng ANC not to use the up­com­ing na­tional gen­eral coun­cil (NGC) as a “scare­crow” to threaten the party on is­sues.

The Gaut­eng ANC said after its lead­er­ship con­fer­ence two weeks ago that it would lobby the NGC in June next year to scrap the e-tolls.

The NGC is a midterm re­view of ANC ac­tiv­i­ties and poli­cies.

“If you have an is­sue, you don’t raise it pub­licly and threaten the ANC. The ANC Youth League tried that dur­ing the last NGC, where they threat­ened that they would not back any­one who did not support their na­tion­al­i­sa­tion po­si­tion,” said Man­tashe.

“You don’t use the NGC as a scare­crow. The pur­pose of the NGC is to as­sess the im­ple­men­ta­tion of party con­fer­ence res­o­lu­tions.”

Man­tashe said the fo­cus on e-tolls was a nar­row de­bate. He said Gaut­eng wanted to cre­ate a smart city re­gion that would trans­form the prov­ince into a world-class hub. This meant up­grad­ing in­fra­struc­ture – which could lead to higher taxes.

“They can’t have it both ways.”

When Man­dela was the pres­i­dent, he was con­stantly un­der at­tack. Now it’s Zuma


Man­tashe played down the im­por­tance of the Gaut­eng con­fer­ence decision on e-tolls, say­ing it was merely a “res­o­lu­tion”, not a rec­om­men­da­tion.

“It can­not be a res­o­lu­tion if it has not been adopted by the rest of the ANC. The ANC is a uni­tary or­gan­i­sa­tion, not a fed­er­a­tion.”

He also took is­sue with state­ments by Gaut­eng lead­ers blam­ing the Nkandla mat­ter for the drop in support for the party in Gaut­eng dur­ing May’s gen­eral elec­tions.

“I asked them a sim­ple ques­tion. They blame Nkandla, which is in KwaZulu-Natal, and they are in Gaut­eng. Why is the ANC in that prov­ince in­creas­ing support? Why is Gaut­eng alone af­fected by Nkandla?”

Man­tashe said the vi­cious at­tacks on Pres­i­dent Ja­cob Zuma, from all quarters, were not new and had also been di­rected at his pre­de­ces­sors in the past.

“When Man­dela was the pres­i­dent ... he is now the dar­ling of every­body ... he was con­stantly un­der at­tack. When Mbeki, who is all of a sud­den the blue-eyed boy of every­body, was pres­i­dent, he was at­tacked more vi­ciously than Zuma. Now it’s Zuma. I can tell you Zuma is now in the sec­ond term. He will go and there will be a new pres­i­dent. He will not be im­mune to at­tacks. The aim is to dis­credit a lib­er­a­tion move­ment, weaken it and de­feat it.”

He said South Africans must learn to be pa­tient with the cur­rent par­lia­men­tary pro­cesses into the Nkandla saga and they must not pre­ma­turely ap­por­tion blame.

Man­tashe did not have harsh words only for some within his own party. He ac­cused the Eco­nomic Free­dom Fight­ers of adopt­ing “an­ar­chy and de­struc­tion as part of their strat­egy”.

“They are not in­ter­ested in out­comes; they are in­ter­ested in cap­tur­ing the at­ten­tion of the me­dia and get­ting head­lines for a week.

“Whether there’s con­tent or no con­tent, it doesn’t mat­ter to them. To me, that is hav­ing a neg­a­tive ef­fect on the work of Par­lia­ment.

“I think peo­ple are be­gin­ning to put their foot down and un­der­stand that they can­not suc­cumb to an­ar­chy. If you re­ward an­ar­chy, you em­bolden it.”


ANC sec­re­tary-gen­eral Gwede Man­tashe in his of­fice at Luthuli House

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