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Mantashe denies claims he’s conflicted after Ramaphosa slate announcement

Dr Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma campaign told 'Eyewitness News' that Cyril Ramaphosa has put Gwede Mantashe in a difficult and untenable position.

 Gwede Mantashe Secretary General of the African National Congress address the media during a press briefing at Luthuli House in Johannesburg. Picture: Ihsaan Haffejee/EWN

JOHANNESBURG - African National Congress (ANC) Secretary-General Gwede Mantashe says he doesn’t agree with the claim by Dr Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma campaign that he is conflicted in his position now that he has been named on Cyril Ramaphosa’s slate.

Mantashe briefed the media earlier on Tuesday following the party’s special NEC meeting.

Ramaphosa recently announced what he described as a winning team, which had the name of Mantashe as a possible candidate for chairperson of the party on his slate.

Dlamini Zuma’s campaign told Eyewitness News that Ramaphosa has put Mantashe in a difficult and untenable position, questioning whether Mantashe will be able to be neutral when presiding over the nomination process.

Mantashe has responded to this concern by dismissing it.

“Would they be equally concerned if I was a candidate? Three of the six officials are candidates, nobody makes any noise about that.”

He made reference to a government event that President Jacob Zuma attended in the Northern Cape, where the ANCWL campaigned for Dlamini Zuma.

“They were singing ‘We’re ready for Dlamini Zuma’, nobody talks about that.”

Mantashe says he doesn’t understand why people are unhappy with his association with Ramaphosa’s slate.

ANC STALWARTS

Mantashe has distanced the party from a consultative conference organised by its own stalwarts.

The conference this coming weekend is expected to be attended by about 500 people, as the stalwarts hope the three-day conference will save the ANC from its demise.

The ANC stalwarts indicated last week that this consultative conference would be attended by the party’s branches and some ANC leaders, but the organisation itself says it has nothing to do with the gathering.

“The ANC has no national consultative conference.”

Mantashe also says whoever decides to attend won’t be representing the ANC.

“Anybody who goes there would be doing so as an individual member of the ANC.”

Mantashe wouldn’t say, though, if ANC leaders who decide to attend the conference will be branded factional.

Ramaphosa was accused of being divisive when he attended and addressed the MK Council gathering recently.

WATCH: Gwede Mantashe dismisses rumours of his possible removal

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