ANC has to 'self-correct' - Gwede Mantashe

ANC secretary-general Gwede Mantashe told delegates at the Western Cape general council that the party needed to fix its problems. / Alaister Russell
ANC secretary-general Gwede Mantashe told delegates at the Western Cape general council that the party needed to fix its problems. / Alaister Russell

ANC secretary-general Gwede Mantashe says the December elective conference will be "an important milestone in the rectification of all the mistakes which the ANC has committed".

He was addressing the ANC Western Cape provincial general council yesterday.

The council convened to consolidate branch nominations for the upcoming elective conference with members expected to chooses between seven candidates to succeed President Jacob Zuma as the ANC president.

Candidates include deputy president Cyril Ramaphosa and former African Union chairwoman Nkosasana Dlamini-Zuma.

In his address to 300 members at the Fountains Hotel in Cape Town, Mantashe called on members to make their nominations with "consciousness" that the public had started to view the ANC as filled with "corruption and nepotism".

"We must not be in denial, state capture is a reality. There are some ANC members who say it's not true," he said.

"Money is used to buy delegates. A vote all of a sudden is not a function of consciousness but a function of who offers the highest bid. Delegates must be mindful the ANC cannot be sold to the highest bidder.

"If you sell the ANC now, you are going to sit with that ANC for the next five years."

The biggest challenge facing the ANC, he said, was the image and reputation of an organisation approaching its 106th year of existence.

"When the ANC is seen as equal to corruption, looting, and nepotism... we must know that society must see us as beginning to put an effort to correct that reputation."

Asked whether the comment also refers to delegates ahead of the elective conference he said: "Yes, because that conference is quite an important milestone in the rectification of all the mistakes the ANC has committed."

Western Cape's nominations were counted after Mantashe's address. This would finalise the position of the province on their preferred leaders.

The ANC had extended the branch general meetings to nominate their preferred candidates. The deadline passed on Saturday.

ANC members to attend the conference will meet at the provincial general councils to consolidate their nominations. All councils are expected to have been completed by the weekend. Disputes have been lodged by some branches due to noncompliance of processes.

ANC spokesman Zizi Kodwa said such cases would be dealt with by the NEC.

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