Stop insulting ANC leaders – Mantashe
ANC secretary general Gwede Mantashe has urged party members to stop insulting its leaders ahead of the ANC’s elective conference in December.
In a veiled attack on the ANC Youth League, according to reports Mantashe said today it had become a trend for
ill-disciplined members to use vulgar language about leaders while claiming to be militant, the Sowetan reported.
“Militants should always be guided by the values of the ANC – selflessness, humility, discipline, honesty and respect,” he said at the party’s centenary celebrations in Port Shepstone, KwaZulu-Natal, yesterday.
“We cannot have members who want people to kneel down when they come.”
Youth loyal to ANCYL president Julius Malema sang a song in which they mocked President Jacob Zuma as the “shower man” two weeks ago at a rally on the sidelines of the ANC centenary celebrations.
They accompanied the song with a gesture over their heads symbolising a shower in a reference to Zuma’s rape trial in 2006, during which he said he took a shower after having unprotected sex with an HIV-positive woman.
The same song was sung by a group supporting Malema’s close ally and ANC Limpopo chairperson Cassel Mathale at the party’s provincial conference in Polokwane in December.
At the conference, Malema was elected as member of the provincial executive committee.
Business Day reported Mantashe as saying that ANC leaders had to be respected and not insulted.
“If you are ill-disciplined, even if you pretend to be militant, you must know that militancy without discipline is anarchy. And if we allow anarchy to take control we will have no organisation.”
The ANCYL is pushing for a change of leadership at the ANC’s elective conference in Mangaung later this year.
Malema is reportedly leading a campaign to unseat Zuma in favour of Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe.
Malema’s predecessor Fikile Mbalula, who is now sports minister, was the preferred candidate to take over from Mantashe as ANC secretary general.
Mantashe said there was no throne in the movement.
The Business Day quoted Mantashe as saying the leadership debate should not be a nightmare in which some people threatened: “We’ll remove you, and you will be elected”.
He reportedly said those who accepted money in exchange for votes to bring about a leadership change as taking “blood money”.
He also questioned why branches were subjected to lists developed by the “well-resourced and moneyed”.