The ANC has rubbished claims that there was any attempt to remove secretary general Gwede Mantashe at its special national executive committee (NEC) meeting.
The NEC meeting, which is currently underway in Irene, Pretoria, is meant to discuss the party’s looming elective conference, the organisational report to be presented at that conference, and the September Eastern Cape elective congress.
However, reports emerged on Sunday that a faction in the party – believed to be close to President Jacob Zuma and behind Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma’s bid for president – accused Mantashe of being biased and called for him to be suspended.
Mantashe has been criticised for once saying that current Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa should become president and that Dlamini-Zuma should be his deputy.
“The African National Congress rejects with the contempt they deserve false, malicious and mischievous reports being peddled about the proceedings of the special national executive committee meeting of the ANC,” said the party in a statement on Monday morning.
The ANC also acknowledged that it was unusual for it to respond to the media claims of happenings during its NEC meeting, explaining that this was because of the “serious nature of the rumours” being shared by “nameless and faceless sources”.
It’s believed that there were differences at the meeting over reports by NEC deployees to the Eastern Cape and the provincial executive committee on the fate of the PEC. The conference, marred by violence, saw Oscar Mabuyane elected as the province’s new ANC chair.
“These rumours are peddled to sow confusion and division within the movement and are indicative of the media’s laziness and total disregard for proper journalistic ethics in favour of populism and sensationalism,” said the ANC.
The NEC would continue with its meeting on Monday, after which the party’s national working committee was expected to further refine the report on the Eastern Cape provincial congress and draft an organisational report for the national elective congress.
The ANC also called on its members, supporters and South Africans at large to resist and reject the “frenzy of fake news” peddled by so-called insiders and analysts, and to instead await the formal communication from the NEC on the outcomes of the “Special NEC”.