ANC Secretary General (SG) Gwede Mantashe has on Wednesday said the party remains committed to doing away with factionalism adding that it will however take time because you cant simply “wish them away.”
“When we deal with factionalism, we need to be more scientific. You don’t simply declare that there shall be no factions and they automatically disappear,” said Mantashe
The SG made the comments while speaking to the media at the party’s headquarters at Luthuli House.
Mantashe said that the ruling party is looking into how to deal with factions.
” The ANC is hard at work looking into how do we deal with factions. When we go to the branches and tell them this is what you should be looking at as principles, it is an effort to do away with factions but you don’t just wish them away.” said Mantashe.
The SG reiterated the theme of unity delivered by party president Jacob Zuma during the January 8 statement on Sunday.
” The message of unity will be the mainstay of the January 8 Provincial rallies,” said Mantashe.
” There is no body in the ANC who is entitled to be on any structure of the ANC. It is the branches which must elect the people who will do best for the party ” continued Mantashe.
Mantashe also distanced the ANC from a slate lists which was recently uncovered by The New Age saying “they have nothing to do with party Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa and Treasurer General Zweli Mkhize.”
A slate for the ANC’s December elective conference purportedly from the Cyril Ramaphosa camp has emerged with Zweli Mkhize named as his deputy and Gauteng Premier David Makhura named as secretary-general.
The slate also proposes 80 names for the party’s national executive committee.
The appearance of the slate list lead to ANC national spokesperson Zizi Kodwa issuing a stern warning to the ANC’s structures, “including the ANC Women’s League”, to refrain from making public statements on the leadership issue.
The ANC distances itself from all circulating lists about who will lead ANC, this is maliciously meant to undermine unity #ANC105
— Zizi Kodwa (@zizikodwa) January 11, 2017
Mantashe on Wednesday told the media that there is no set tradition in its constitution which dictates that the Deputy President should automatically succeed the President.
” I don’t want us to create traditions that do not exist in the ANC but when you elect a Deputy President, you must have succession in mind ” said Mantashe.
However Mantashe added that the debate on whether the Deputy President should succeed the ANC President should be allowed to continue.
” The debate should ask, ‘There Is a deputy president. Is he competent enough? Can he succeed? and if not, why not? ”
Commenting on the state of internal democracy within the party, Mantashe said the ANC remained one of the most democratic parties in its functioning.
” We do many things to ensure that branches and members of the ANC have a voice in the affairs of the ANC. Maybe we are over-democratic because the manipulation of processes happens at the branch level.” said Mantashe.