Mantashe: No losers in Mangaung
ANC's Gwede Mantashe says the election of party leaders is about the ANC and not individuals.
MANGAUNG - The future of some ANC leaders who may be out in the cold after Jacob Zuma's slate won convincingly at the party's Mangaung conference on Tuesday remain in doubt.
Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe declined nomination to the party's national executive committee (NEC) on Tuesday night while several other senior members also turned down nominations.
Re-elected secretary general Gwede Mantashe said he was confident the new top six would do a good job.
"It's not a 'B' team, it's an 'A' team and we are comfortable that it will do that it is supposed to do. It will execute the mandate given by conference."
Mantashe also insisted there were no losers in the election race.
"There are no people who have lost, the ANC has won. Those are members of the ANC, they will stand automatically on the list of additional NEC members. If they get elected, they will get into the NEC.
"So nobody has lost. it's is not about individuals, it's about the ANC."
Question marks at the meantime hang over the futures of Mathews Phosa, Fikile Mbalula and Tokyo Sexwale. A better idea of their futures may be given when voting takes place for the NEC on Wednesday.
ANC NEC member Pallo Jordan said it was not clear how Motlanthe would now be able to contribute to the party's structures.
"Not being in the top six has a much bigger impact than not being in the NEC. In the top six, his contribution would be much more forceful maybe."
TROUBLE IN ALLIANCE PARADISE
The ANC is also now facing trouble around its alliance partner the Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu).
ANC put out a statement Tuesday night slamming general secretary Zwelenzima Vavi's criticism of the Mangaung conference.
Vavi said the conference had not displayed unity during its first two days.
He has since responded to the ANC's statement.
"My responsibility is to the Cosatu policies, that I must advance all the time and stick to them every time there is a point of relevance. I don't know what is actually making anyone angry."
The trade union federation itself has appeared divided on the leadership issue.
Cosatu president Sdumo Dlamini said the top six had several key tasks ahead of them.
"One is ensuring that the uniting within the movement is worked on and that those who lost be brought inside and given tasks."
While secretary of the National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (Numsa), Irvin Jim, said while he agreed that issues affecting the alliance should be raised, it should not be to the detriment of the public.
He said when issues were raised internally, government and ministers acted in ways that "undermined the fact that Cosatu has views."
"Cosatu will continue to be consistent in the interests of its constituency."
Both Dlamini and Jim welcomed the election of the new leadership.
Meanwhile, prominent union leaders appear to have rejected a call by President Zuma to serve on the ANC's NEC.
Electoral officials last night read out a list of people linked to the union movement who had declined nominations to the ANC's NEC.
But for the last year, President Zuma has said the leaders of unions representing miners and metalworkers should be on the NEC and he may be frustrated at their decision.
'ZUMA HAS REASON TO WORRY'
While Zuma celebrated his re-election as ANC president for the next five years, he may still have to worry about certain provinces within the party.
Political analyst and academic Adam Habib said the party remained much divided.
"This is a very divided organisation. Although Zuma won 80 percent of the support, he lost 20 percent.
"That 20 percent is significant, in particular because it also represents Gauteng and Gauteng is the heart of the economy.
"So if I was Jacob Zuma I'd be worried, and I wouldn't be too complacent about this election."
Democratic Alliance (DA) leader Helen Zille said she was not surprised by the outcome of the ANC elective conference.
She said the outcome of the election was bad for the country's democracy because it showed the party had overlooked Zuma's integrity in office.
"It's a sad day for South Africa. It gives the message that a person who can have so many questions about his integrity and leadership can be re-elected so overwhelmingly."
Zuma has preached reconciliation during his victory speech, but now he will have to put that on display by unifying the organisation.