ANC Secretary-general Gwede Mantashe. Picture: VELI NHLAPO
ANC Secretary-general Gwede Mantashe. Picture: VELI NHLAPO

It is going to be long year for ANC secretary general Gwede Mantashe as he tries to put out a fire that is growing by the week.

Over the weekend Mantashe had to call to order the ANC Women’s League for its open support of Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma to lead the ANC come December.

But earlier in the week‚ some leaders within the provincial structures of the ANC in KwaZulu-Natal threw the name of the current treasurer general‚ Zweli Mkhize‚ into the fray‚ throwing open the ruling party’s presidential race.

On Wednesday‚ Mantashe took time again in Luthuli House to urge ANC structures to refrain from throwing names into the public domain‚ saying it was divisive.

"When we deal with factionalism‚ we need to be more scientific. You don't declare that there shall be not factions and they disappear … We should minimise our engagement with things that destruct us and make us move out of the theme because they'll be a quite number of people who take initiatives that divide the ANC and many try better when the ANC is chaotic and divided. Our view is that let’s not focus on those destructions and deflection‚ let's focus on what we should do‚" said Mantashe.

This comes as the ruling party has been gripped by succession fever since the beginning of a new year in which it is set to elect Zuma's successor.

On the eve of the party's 105th anniversary celebrations‚ the ANCWL sent out a statement reiterating its backing of Dr Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma to lead the ANC. This follows of the endorsement from COSATU that Cyril Ramaphosa would be their preferred candidate.

"We are not going to focus on those things. We have agreed in the ANC that 'listen‚ hold back on nominating the names - let’s engage on the principle’. Delivering the NEC statement‚ the president (Jacob Zuma) was so clear in that area that we are discussing principles that must underpin selection of leadership‚" added Mantashe.

Already‚ two lists have been circulated‚ one of which was reported in the New Age with Ramaphosa in the top spot and treasurer Zweli Mkhize as his deputy. Another‚ circulated by members of the ANC Youth League has Free State ANC chairman Ace Magashule in the top spot and African Union commission chairwoman Dlamini-Zuma as his deputy.

The list also includes ANC KwaZulu-Natal secretary Sihle Zikalala as secretary general‚ Nomvula Mokonyane as deputy secretary general‚ international relations minister Maite Nkoana-Mashabene as treasurer and Mpumalanga chairman David Mabuza as national chairman.

 - TMG Digital.

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