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ANC needs to improve itself – Mantashe

The ANC’s Gwede Mantashe says a major focus of the party's new leadership will be to clean up its image.

ANC secretary general Gwede Mantashe at the ANC's National Executive Committee meeting in Irene, 18 May 2012. Picture: SAPA

JOHANNESBURG - ANC secretary general Gwede Mantashe on Sunday said a major focus of the party's new leadership would be to clean up its image ahead of the national elections next year.

Speaking to Eyewitness News in a wide-ranging interview, Mantashe denied there were any plans to replace President Jacob Zuma as the public face of the organisation.

There was speculation after the ANC's elective conference in Mangaung that Zuma's deputy, Cyril Ramaphosa, could be led into the spotlight to help push back against several scandals plaguing the president.

Mantashe said the ANC had decided who would lead into next year's elections and said there was no discussion around the topic.

"The ANC must actually improve itself and talk to the perceptions and views that are in the public and clean them up."

Mantashe said the newly-elected national executive committee of the ANC would meet on Friday, while a mass rally to celebrate the organisation's 101st birthday would be held the following day.

Some of the issues the NEC will deal with include the future of the ANC Youth League, the leadership conundrum in the Free State and the state of local municipalities.