Mantashe: ANC better with fewer members

Members who voted for the DA’s Annette Combrink have “moved on from the ANC”, Mantashe said.

ANC Secretary-General Gwede Mantashe. Picture: Sebabatso Mosamo/EWN

JOHANNESBURG - The ANC functions better with fewer members as opposed to many undisciplined ones, ANC Secretary General Gwede Mantashe said on Wednesday.

He made the comments while speaking to 567 CapeTalk/Talk Radio 702's Stephen Grootes on the Midday Report.

Mantashe discussed the Democratic Alliance (DA)'s surprise takeover at the Tlokwe City Council in the North West.

In a vote convened to decide on a new mayor, the DA's Annette Combrink unanimously won after she was the only candidate to contest.

Combrink said she believed many ANC members were pleased to vote for her.

The ANC on Tuesday said it would meet its legal representatives to seek recourse.

The party's Ishmael Mnisi said the removal of the previous mayor, Maphetle Maphetle, was irregular.

"The mayor [Maphetle] together with the other members, including the chief whip, were not present in that meeting."

Maphetle reportedly failed to deal with damning forensic audit findings of corruption in the municipality and the DA used this as part of its campaign.

"As far as I am concerned, those councillors have taken a decision to move on [from the ANC]," Mantashe said. "The ANC should just allow them to move [on] because the ANC is better smaller, having disciplined members, than having many who do as they wish."

He said the decision to ignore ANC orders was acceptable, but meant that those members would no longer be a part of the party.

"People have options, we are a democracy," Mantashe said.

"When people decide to undermine the organisation for personal ambitions or desires, we release them. We do that regularly in the ANC. It is not unraveling, it is an ANC that is tightly run, that will not succumb to the pressure of individuals who want their personal interests to overshadow the organisation's interests."

Mantashe said Maphetle's ousting was simply based on allegations.

He said members had to wait for investigations to be concluded before decisions could be made.

"We don't want to do what we did in the 1980s, when people said 'that chap is a sell-out' and then put a tyre around his neck. We discovered much later that it was just an allegation."