Mantashe: NEC members were filled with hate during meeting

The ANC's Gwede Mantashe says members must be able to disagree with each other without harbouring hate.

FILE: ANC Secretary General Gwede Mantashe. Picture: Reinart Toerien/EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - African National Congress (ANC) secretary general Gwede Mantashe says he witnessed hatred among members during the party’s national executive committee meeting over the weekend.

Mantashe says the governing party’s members must be able to disagree with each other without harbouring hate because this will tear the ANC apart.

He has been speaking at the ANC’s memorial service for the late Cuban struggle hero Fidel Castro at the Johannesburg City Hall.

The ANC secretary general said on Tuesday during a press briefing after the NEC meeting that discussions were open and that no one was threatened with unemployment for calling on President Jacob Zuma to resign.

However, on Wednesday Mantashe said the majority of members were filled with hate during the discussions.

“One of the things that came out of the meeting was the depth of hatred among the comrades, let alone disagreeing. There is nothing wrong when people disagree. There is everything wrong with that disagreement becoming hatred.”

He says members must learn from Castro who loved his country and his colleagues.

WATCH: Looking back at Fidel Castro's controversial legacy

The ANC secretary general says there’s nothing wrong with disagreements but a situation cannot be tolerated when a disagreement descends into hatred.

“We may disagree on a particular point but the dangerous thing is that every time a comrade raises a point I disagree with, I put that comrade in a box and I think I can burn that box and burn that comrade in that box. It is the worst thing that can happen to our movement.”

His comments this evening come just a day after Mantashe said the debate around the call for the president to step down was robust and open.