ANC secretary general Gwede Mantashe
“The primary enemy of the ANC [African National Congress] is the askari-impulse within its leadership,” ANC secretary general Gwede Mantashe said on Sunday afternoon in Nyanga.
Mantashe was participating in a mini-rally at the Oscar Mphetha High School ahead of Tuesday’s by-election in Cape Town’s ward 37, in which Luyanda Nyingwa will represent the ANC.
Mantashe was concerned about the “temptation to implode the ANC from within” and said those who want to do that “collude with the same forces that would have liked to see Nelson Mandela die in prison”.
Among the audience of about 200 people, there were a few with the letters NDZ – the moniker for one of the ANC presidential hopefuls Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma – emblazoned on their ANC attire, while there were also a few T-shirts sporting Lindiwe Sisulu's “It’s a must!” campaign slogan. There didn’t seem to be any animosity among those flying different banners.
“With the divisive T-shirts, you are pledging your loyalty to an individual, not the ANC. You need to pledge loyalty to ANC, not individuals,” Mantashe said.
He warned against a cult of personality in the organisation.
“You shouldn’t be loyal to an individual, you’re loyal to the ANC.”
He said factions discuss individuals, not programmes.
He said after December’s elective conference society should be able to say the ANC is serious. He said the focus shouldn’t be on individuals, but on rejuvenating the ANC’s reputation.
Mantashe also impressed on the audience to keep their ward councillors accountable.