Citizen Reporter
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2 minute read
30 Mar 2017
11:29 am

Mantashe doesn’t think Motlanthe deserved a standing ovation

Citizen Reporter

The ANC secretary-general says people have a tendency to praise those who bash the ruling party.

Secretary General of the ANC Gwede Mantashe talks to members of the media, 24 November 2014, at Chief Albert Luthuli House in Johannesburg CBD on the party’s most recent National Executive Committee meeting. Picture: Alaister Russell

ANC secretary-general Gwede Mantashe has explained why he did not stand up on Wednesday when former president Kgalema Motlanthe quoted late struggle stalwart Ahmed Kathrada’s letter imploring President Jacob Zuma to step down from office.

Motlanthe, who has been increasingly critical of the current leadership of the ANC, received a standing ovation from many at Wednesday’s funeral – including Finance Minister Pravin and Health Minister Aaron Motsoaledi – during his eulogy to the respected ANC veteran, who died on Tuesday at the age of 87.

Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa, former president Thabo Mbeki, Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma and Graca Machel also remained seated.

Mantashe told EWN he did not stand up because in difficult times one had to take leadership. He said people had a tendency to praise those who bashed the ANC, saying that needed to stop so that debates around the real issues facing the party could begin.

“If you want to be just popular, all you can do is to sell ice cream because you will ring the bell and kids will run after you. You don’t do that when you’re in leadership … That’s why I had to sit down, relax but not angry,” he said.

However, ANC treasurer-general Zweli Mkhize reportedly had a different view from him.

“We do understand that people will respond to issues because of concerns they might be having,” Mkhize said.

It is reported that the ANC’s top six leaders are split over Zuma’s decision to remove Gordhan from his Cabinet.

TimesLIVE reported on Wednesday that Gordhan’s recall from an international investor road show was apparently related to an intelligence report Zuma received that claimed the minister and his deputy, Mcebisi Jonas, were going to use the engagement with investors in the UK and US to reach out to influential people hellbent on “overthrowing the state”.

Ramaphosa, Mantashe and Mkhize are understood to be against Gordhan’s axing.

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