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Gwede Mantashe hits back at ‘immature’ Cosatu delegates, calls Jacob Zuma’s attempt to return to politics a ‘joke’

Gwede Mantashe hits back at ‘immature’ Cosatu delegates, calls Jacob Zuma’s attempt to return to politics a ‘joke’
ANC chairperson Gwede Mantashe at Cosatu’s 14th elective congress in Midrand on 27 September 2022. (Photo: Felix Dlangamandla / Daily Maverick)

ANC chairperson Gwede Mantashe did not mince his words when reacting to being booed by Cosatu delegates on Monday. He also commented on former president Jacob Zuma throwing his hat into the ring to chair the ANC.

ANC national chairperson Gwede Mantashe did not hide his frustration at the second day of Cosatu’s congress at the Gallagher Convention Centre in Midrand. A frustrated Mantashe spoke to the media as he left, after again not being allowed to deliver the ANC’s message of support:

“Delegates of the conference didn’t want us to talk to them. We must humbly accept that… I’m leaving. I’m not going to address the conference. I will not be here tomorrow. I was here yesterday. I was here today.”

Mantashe believes delegates were “immature” for not allowing him to speak, but noted that the ANC would try to mend fences with Cosatu:

“The alliance is weak… we’ll have to work together to try and build it. The alliance is an alliance of three equal partners with an equal responsibility. The ANC was given a responsibility to lead the alliance with its challenge. One of the discussions currently going on is whether or not the ANC is the leader or the alliance is the centre – that’s the issue being discussed.”

Read more in Daily Maverick: “Public sector strike on the cards as pay talks collapse

Mantashe had to exit the stage alongside ANC National Executive Committee (NEC) members Lindiwe Zulu and Mmamoloko Kubayi — without delivering his remarks on Monday. This was after he was heckled and booed by delegates who have accused the ANC of making empty promises. 

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Conference delegates were unapologetic about their stance and wanted the ANC to account for a number of issues, including the wage increase the government has offered to public servants, which they believe does not cover the high cost of living.

Zuma contestation

Former president Jacob Zuma set tongues wagging after releasing a statement in which he announced his intention to vie for the ANC chairperson position at the party’s 55th conference at the end of the year. In the same statement he also endorses Dr Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma for president.

ANC chairperson Gwede Mantashe and former Gauteng health MEC Dr Gwen Ramokgopa during Cosatu’s 14th elective congress. (Photo: Felix Dlangamandla / Daily Maverick)

Mantashe is contesting for the position of chairperson for another term and has been endorsed by Northern Cape and Eastern Cape provincial structures.

Asked about Zuma throwing his hat into the ring, he said it was “the biggest joke of the year”, adding: “If JZ at the age 81 wants to contest as chairperson of the ANC, I take it as a joke.” 

Zuma, in his statement, said ANC branches had approached him to contest the position: “I have been approached by a number of cadres to make myself available for the position of national chairperson of the ANC.

Read more in Daily Maverick: “The ANC young guns and veterans vying for the top six in hotly contested party leadership race

Gwede Mantashe addresses the media during Cosatu’s elective congress at the Gallagher Convention Centre in Midrand on 27 September 2022. (Photo: Felix Dlangamandla / Daily Maverick)

“I have indicated that I will be guided by the branches of the ANC and that I will not refuse such a call should they deem it necessary for me to serve the organisation again at that level or any other.”

Others vying for the position include Deputy Finance Minister David Masondo and ANC Limpopo chairperson Stan Mathabatha. DM

See here: Zweli Mkhize for president, says ANC in KZN



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  • Hermann Funk says:

    The sooner these clowns learn that their party is doomed, the better. Sorry, I forget one needs a certain IQ to recognise that.

  • Johan Buys says:

    It will be messy but the tripartite alliance is overdue being broken up. My hope is the cadres and communists jump ship to serve Malema. The former UDF part of ANC forms core of a minority ANC party that works something out with ActionSA and DA to have a chance of us still having a country in 2030 that we want to call home. I figure old UDF + ActionSA + DA and a few smaller ones hopefully IFP included would run most councils and provinces and parliament? It will be messy but less so than current path. If 1m of us register as ANC branch members we could hijack the ANC…

    • Roelf Pretorius says:

      I really can’t see any credible ANC leader joining the EFF – the EFF leadership is too unpredictable and reckless. I would say that they would rather take their changes with the ANC itself. Regarding the 1 million members hijacking the ANC is an interesting if completely impractical idea – but what are you going to do with it once you have hijacked it? It is like hijacking a truck without wheels . . .

      • Johan Buys says:

        Roelf : on a list this week the 720,000 branch members decide the leaders that decide the cadres that implement the party policy decided at conference (and siphon funds but leave that). That 720,000 is anyway regarded as half bogus. If 1m decent supporters (there must be at least 10m ordinary and decent ANC supporters embarrassed by what is going on) took back the branches they take back who the leaders, cadres and policies are. Wishful thinking I suppose.

  • Cunningham Ngcukana says:

    COSATU is made up of largely public service members and for Gwede to be surprised and call workers “immature” is the height of arrogance. The way the ANC government behaved in nullifying a bargaining agreement and for the Constitutional Court to nullify it legally it was the height of judicial and legal thuggery. For former union leaders including the President to allow such to take place is betrayal of workers of the highest order. To expect workers to listen to an ANC garbage of how good the alliance is after years of being screwed was expecting too much. To any analyst it was not unexpected even given the current round of negotiations in the Public Service Bargaining Council and the question was what bag of lies he was carrying. Clearly the workers were not prepared to listen to them anymore.
    Whether the alliance works people have to analyse at branch, regional, Provincial and National levels the dynamics of the alliance after 1994. ANC branches will tell you that there is no alliance on the ground and it feature between leaders not even during struggles of workers would you see the ANC except the out of work SACP. Whether its relevance is redefining the strategic centre of power is another matter when it is dysfunctional at grass roots level.

    • Johan Buys says:

      Cunningham: couple of problems. One is that COSATU is mostly public servants is partly why our finances look like they do. We have more administrators than we have nurses or police. The alliance employs its members will never end well for taxpayers. I noticed Mantashe never refers to the hecklers as “comrades”. That at least is a start. Imho the alliance is dead – it never made sense. I’ll cheer if the old UDF resurrects itself : it had the best people in 1980-1994 (that were not imprisoned by the Nats) in any event.

      • Cunningham Ngcukana says:

        If you look at the AG report of looting, you will find that the most looting takes place in the Department of Health in all provinces. Gauteng specialises in looting the Department of Health. They then burn offices and hospitals to hide the evidence. It is billions not small change. There is also theft of medicines in all public hospitals. You will
        only find Panado nothing else. You then go to education and housing. The central problem is corruption if you go through the AG report by people who are high ranking in the ANC.

  • Roelf Pretorius says:

    Zuma is facing a whole range of charges, so the step-aside rule equally applies to him also, which means that, if the ANC applies its’ rules fairly, he will also not be allowed to stand for any position, even if branches nominate him.

    • Cunningham Ngcukana says:

      In ANC parlance it does not apply to him and has not been served with any letter or called by the clowns of the integrity commission peddled by the media. He is above any rules. Anyway the step – aside is an internal ANC matter that will be ditched in December. Watch this space as ANC journalists write moaning its demise.

  • Sydney Kaye says:

    Maybe it was the Zuma “Foundation” that approached him to stand.

  • virginia crawford says:

    The alliance is weak – good news at last! There is no good reason for the SACP or COSATU to be in government.

  • Malcolm McManus says:

    I thought Jacob was far too ill.

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