Gwede calls on ANC ‘to unite or bleed’

The Star Early Edition - - NEWS - SITHANDIWE VELAPHI

ANC sec­re­tary-gen­eral Gwede Man­tashe says he is a leader of the ANC in good stand­ing who had a right to con­test a po­si­tion in the move­ment.

Man­tashe was speaking in East London’s city hall yes­ter­day at a memo­rial lec­ture on the life and times of the late SACP gen­eral-sec­re­tary Joe Slovo. The lec­ture was or­gan­ised by the Young Com­mu­nist League (YCL).

Be­fore Man­tashe’s ad­dress, ANC pro­vin­cial sec­re­tary Os­car Mabuyane and YCL na­tional sec­re­tary Mluleki Dle­langa, re­spec­tively, had chanted: “Rise Gwede Man­tashe, Rise” to an over­whelm­ing re­sponse.

Man­tashe said the ANC was in need of unity in or­der to de­feat fac­tion­al­ism which he said was rav­aging the party. He said if fac­tional and eth­nic group­ings were left unat­tended in the ANC, the move­ment would “bleed to death”.

Man­tashe said ANC branches had a duty to elect ANC lead­ers with ca­pac­ity and ca­pa­bil­ity to deal with the chal­lenges cur­rently fac­ing the or­gan­i­sa­tion.

“We can’t just talk to slates that are thrown to the branches. We must de­bate the pro­gramme (of ac­tion) and then de­bate the names (can­di­dates) when time al­lows. These names must be an ef­fort to put a team to­gether that will be able to deal with the chal­lenges of the time,” Man­tashe urged.

He added that the ANC’s “Through the Eye of the Nee­dle” dossier was a warn­ing to ANC branches that they must scru­ti­nise “lob­by­ists who don’t sleep at night while cam­paign­ing for can­di­dates”.

“It’s also a warn­ing for ANC branches to guard against lead­ers with per­sonal am­bi­tions who want to be elected be­cause they want to be closer to state power,” Man­tashe said.

He was not in the Eastern Cape to cam­paign for some­one, he said. “I am in the Eastern Cape by the in­vi­ta­tion of the Young Com­mu­nist League. We are not run­ners for a can­di­date, we are lead­ers of the move­ment and we have a right to be the can­di­dates our­selves,” said Man­tashe.

The SACP’s sec­ond deputy gen­eral sec­re­tary Solly Ma­paila said Man­tashe’s of­fice was be­ing “un­der­mined” by some “ill-dis­ci­plined” ANC mem­bers.

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