Cape Times

Mantashe issues ominous warning to ANC leaders

- Siviwe Feketha

‘Society is looking for any alternativ­e that offers them an opportunit­y to be served’

THE ANC is failing to grasp that people are looking for other parties to govern the country, the party’s outgoing secretary-general Gwede Mantashe said yesterday.

In an organisati­onal report, Mantashe said it was unpreceden­ted for the ANC to be openly denounced by its stalwarts and veterans.

Addressing delegates at the party’s 54th national conference yesterday, Mantashe called on the party to consider the criticism of the veterans.

The stalwarts, who recently held a consultati­ve conference, have warned that the party faces an electoral loss in 2019 and its demise if it does not mend its ways.

They have also called on President Jacob Zuma to step down.

“This is unpreceden­ted in the history of the movement.

“This reality suggests that we are failing to grasp that society is beginning to look for any alternativ­e that offers them an opportunit­y to be served.”

There were fears flowing from the 2016 local elections that the party could lose elections in 2019 or fail to get a ruling majority.

He admitted the ANC was riddled with weaknesses, which the party has not been able to resolve, including corruption and incompeten­ce of leaders which have seen it losing credibilit­y and support.

Mantashe, who has been at the helm of the party’s administra­tion for the last 10 years, highlighte­d a decline in the party’s ability to govern, declining quality of its membership and the waning of values among leaders and members, which he said was threatenin­g its legitimacy.

“The legitimacy of our movement as the standard bearer in society and a champion of our freedoms is in serious threat.

“Not only is there a growing gap between the movement and the people, there also is an increase in the trust deficit,” Mantashe added.

Internal challenges such as manipulati­on of processes have seen members of the organisati­on seeking relief in courts, the outcome of which delayed the conference by more than one day.

Mantashe said the party was also plagued by warring factions and leaders and members who were preoccupie­d with using the party to amass wealth.

“The intensity of our internal fights make it impossible to appreciate the threat to the revolution.

“We have, including in our alliance summits, correctly identified and acknowledg­ed that crass materialis­m, in particular the use of money, is a cancer eating away our organisati­on.”

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