'Personal attacks weakening ANC' - Mantashe pushes for unity

Mineral resources minister Gwede Mantashe says strip mining will provide jobs and development.
Mineral resources minister Gwede Mantashe says strip mining will provide jobs and development.
Image: Moeletsi Mabe

ANC chairperson Gwede Mantashe has appealed to party members to refrain from taking jabs at each other in public.

This, according to him, gives opposition parties ammunition to capitalise on the ANC's mistakes.

"There's nothing that is actually hurting the ANC like being torn and pulled down in full glare of the enemy.

"If I stand up on a podium and say 'the ANC is dead' or I say, 'the ANC is weak', the impact of that message is far heavier than the enemy attacking us put together," he said.

Although Mantashe did not mention anybody by name, it appears that he was calling out former president Jacob Zuma who in recent weeks has been taking jabs at ANC president Cyril Ramaphosa through subtle tweets in Zulu.

Mantashe was speaking at an ANC Youth League event on Saturday to commemorate the 40th anniversary of Solomon Mahlangu's hanging.

He appealed to ANC members and leaders to stop pulling the ANC down and to put their energy, resources and intellectual capacity into strengthening the party and to unite to ensure a decisive win in the May 8 general elections.

"If we enjoy tearing each other's character apart, we are killing the ANC, we are destroying the trust of society of the leadership of the ANC," Mantashe said.

Turning to the work of the commission of inquiry looking into state capture, Mantashe said if he is found guilty by the commission, then he too should be prosecuted.

"Let's allow it to continue because it is the beginning of the ANC self-correcting and self-cleansing," he said.

"You do not self-cleanse by saying when the commission begins to roar and say everybody must be fired. For the enemy, it is about weakening the capacity of the ANC, so let that commission continue and if I am found guilty, I must actually be punished."

He, however, cautioned against calls to remove names from the ANC election list based on untested allegations.

Last week, state capture investigator Patrick Mlambo gave details of his investigation into the security upgrades at Mantashe's houses in the Eastern Cape, including cameras allegedly installed by a Bosasa subsidiary.

Also present at the event were ANC secretary-general Ace Magashule, ANC NEC members S'dumo Dlamini and Joe Maswanganyi and Tshwane regional chairperson Dr Kgosi Maepa, among others.

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