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Mantashe: ANC suffering due to ANCYL problems

President Jacob Zuma surprised many with his admission the ANC is in trouble.

FILE: President Jacob Zuma. Picture: Reinart Toerien/EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - President Jacob Zuma was explaining how the ANC was suffering as a result of its Youth League's problems, African National Congress (ANC) secretary general Gwede Mantashe said on Thursday.

This after the president on Wednesday said the ruling party was in trouble.

Zuma was speaking at the league's conference when he said the mother body was having difficulties.

"It has its own weaknesses; it needs to look at itself."

Mantashe said he hadn't communicated with Zuma while he was giving that speech.

"A note was passed to him to say, don't forget to explain the conversion of the conference into a consultative conference."

But he said Zuma was pointing out that the ANC was troubled because the Youth League was troubled.

"What we are admitting is that we left the Youth League for a long time. We were very slow off the blocks in intervening and the road is long and we must be patient with it, therefore we are in trouble."

Mantashe also said it was wrong to blame Zuma for the party's problems.

The ANC said Zuma's admission last night was an example of how the party acknowledged its own shortcomings.

His admission caught many people by surprise.

"We admit that the organisation is in trouble," Zuma told delegates.

Political analyst Sipho Seepe says this is possibly the right course for Zuma.

"What you see here is somebody who is politically solid, but who is also willing to accept that there is something wrong with the party. Some people would say he is part of that problem."

Seepe adds the ANC used to be able to rely on its liberation history but is now battling to find a message that will galvanise the nation.

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