Man­tashe: sus­pen­sion ru­mours ‘fake news’

The Witness - - NEWS -

JO­HAN­NES­BURG — African Na­tional Congress sec­re­tary­gen­eral Gwede Man­tashe says the cir­cu­la­tion of “fake news” of his im­pend­ing sus­pen­sion is a des­per­ate act in the fierce bat­tle for lead­er­ship ahead of the De­cem­ber elec­tive con­fer­ence.

The of­fice of the sec­re­tary­gen­eral is seen as pow­er­ful ahead of the con­tested con­fer­ence. Dur­ing an in­ter­view with SABC’s

Spe­cial As­sign­ment on Mon­day evening, Man­tashe said the spe­cial Na­tional Ex­ec­u­tive Com­mit­tee, which met over the week­end, had never dis­cussed his sus­pen­sion.

“It can only come from the ANC. No other person from out­side the ANC can even dis­cuss and con­tem­plate sus­pend­ing the sec­re­tary­gen­eral,” he said. Man­tashe la­belled the ru­mours as “fake news”.

He said: “You can’t work for an or­gan­i­sa­tion for nine years and 11 months and, when you are left with four weeks [to the con­fer­ence], peo­ple have the courage to sus­pend you. It’s not doable.”

This was echoed by the party’s par­lia­men­tary chief whip Jack­son Mthembu, who tweeted: “There was no dis­cus­sion of re­moval of SG @GwedeMan­tashe1 @MYANC NEC or NWC. This is fake news.”

The ANC, in an un­usual move, also re­leased a state­ment warn­ing party mem­bers and South Africans to be wary of “fake news”.

“It never arose in the NEC. I was read­ing this head­line for two days that Man­tashe was sus­pended ... the Zuma fac­tion want to sus­pend Man­tashe, and I go to the NEC for three days, it didn’t arise once,” Man­tashe told Spe­cial As­sign­ment.

The spe­cial NEC, which started on Satur­day, Novem­ber 11, was dom­i­nated by sharp dif­fer­ences over the fate of the Eastern Cape elec­tive con­fer­ence, dubbed the “fes­ti­val of chairs”.

Pres­i­dent Ja­cob Zuma loy­al­ists in the NEC pushed for the Eastern Cape’s Pro­vin­cial Elec­tive Com­mit­tee to be dis­banded af­ter the con­fer­ence was marred by vi­o­lence that saw at least seven peo­ple hos­pi­talised.

The spe­cial NEC was ad­journed to Sun­day, to al­low for the Na­tional Work­ing Com­mit­tee (NWC) to dis­cuss its re­port fol­low­ing their Zu­maled visit to the prov­ince.

The NWC mem­bers are said to have con­tra­dicted each other dur­ing the NEC meet­ing.

How­ever, it was then aban­doned on Sun­day, to re­con­vene on Mon­day, af­ter the NWC could not con­clude de­lib­er­a­tions.

The Zuma fac­tion lost their bid on Mon­day af­ter the meet­ing agreed to in­stead ap­point a task team to hear the ap­peal of the dis­grun­tled Eastern Cape mem­bers.

The anti­Zuma fac­tion within the NEC ar­gued that the Eastern Cape PEC could not be dis­banded while the KwaZulu­Na­tal PEC was still stand­ing.

A court judg­ment has nul­li­fied the KwaZulu­Na­tal elec­tive con­fer­ence; how­ever, the elected PEC still stands as the ANC plans to ap­peal the court rul­ing.

Man­tashe told Spe­cial As­sign­ment that the NEC had dealt with five dif­fer­ent re­ports on the chaotic Eastern Cape con­fer­ence.

He ex­plained that the first re­port was com­piled by NEC de­ploy­ees, who had tabled their ob­ser­va­tions of con­fer­ence pro­cesses.

While the sec­ond re­port came from the elected Eastern Cape PEC, a third was by a sec­tion of the old PEC that is ap­peal­ing the out­come of the con­fer­ence.

The fourth re­port was by the old sec­re­tariat of the Eastern Cape and the fifth one, an oral re­port, was of a visit by the NWC to all the re­gions in the prov­ince.

Dis­grun­tled Eastern Cape mem­bers have since with­drawn their le­gal chal­lenge against the elec­tive con­fer­ence. They are now pin­ning their hopes on the task team.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from South Africa

© PressReader. All rights reserved.