Gwede calls on ANC ‘to unite or bleed’
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.