Plot to oust me is fake news-Mantashe

FACTIONAL: ANC secretary-general Gwede Mantashe, left, has described reports of his removal as desperate measures by a faction. PICTURE: ANN7

ANC secretary general Gwede Mantashe yesterday poured cold water on media reports of a plot to oust him in the party’s national executive commit (NEC) meeting at the weekend.

briefing journalist in a post-ANC national executive committee (NEC) meeting in Johannesburg, Mantashe dismissed the reports as fake-news. “It’s a factional briefing which has nothing to do with the reality in the ANC.

I have never been to that meeting where I’ve been asked to recuse myself because everybody is complaining that the SG is so bad, he needs to recuse himself. It is a meeting that has been given to you by a faction that is desperate, that sensationalises issues for their own benefit.”

Mantashe said that factions in the ANC peddling divisive information to the media would not succeed in derailing the party’s December elective conference. “They will not be given space to mess up the ANC conference for factional reasons,” he said.

Mantashe also said that the decision by the SACP to contest by-elections separately from the ANC in Metsimaholo municipality in the Free State has further raised “tensions” between the two alliance partners, Mantashe called for an urgent meeting with the SACP to discuss the implications of the communist party’s decision to go alone at the polls and on the inner workings of ANC-led tripartite alliance.

“When you put a parallel thing to campaign in a municipality like Metsimaholo, you are actually throwing a light on that one. You are raising tensions in the alliance to the limit,” Mantashe said.

His comments come against the background of the SACP fielding 42 candidates to contest the by-elections at the local municipality later this month, without the ANC, a move which has been perceived as a test drive for the SACP’s resolve to contest national elections separately from the ANC sometime in the foreseeable future.

Mantashe said a follow-up meeting to the recent alliance’s political council should be convened with haste. “The ANC must interrogate and engage the resolution of the SACP on state power and its implications for the alliance.

“The ANC remains committed to engaging the party on this matter and ensuring that the alliance, united and strong, continues to provide the leadership society requires from the alliance.”

Referring to ANC branch general meetings (BGMs) finalising their nominations for preferred national NEC officials for the party’s conference, Mantashe said structures that could not complete their nominations by today’s cut-off date, would be given a week’s grace period to complete the task.

“Provinces are expected to complete this process by the deadline of tomorrow, 16 November. We note challenges of convening BGMs during the week and have agreed to a grace period to Sunday to complete all BGMs.

“This is done to allow sufficient time to consider appeals (all of which must be lodged within 48 hours of the disputed BGM) and to prepare for the provincial general councils.” Mantashe also said an ANC appeals panel, chaired by Sbu Ndebele, had been instituted to resolve the leadership impasse in the Eastern Cape.

“The NEC reflected at length on the Eastern Cape provincial conference. A number of reports were received in relation to the conference firstly, from the NEC deployees who had been mandated to be part of preparations towards and during the conference.

“A second report from the newly elected PEC. Finally, a complaint of former PEC members which was subsequently changed into an appeal. The NEC further considered the work done by the national officials following receipt of the complaint.”