Asking Zuma to resign would have torn movement apart, Mantashe tells NUM

ANC Secretary General Gwede Mantashe says the party will elect a new leader at its conference in December where Jacob Zuma's fate will be decided.

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

JOHANNESBURG – African National Congress (ANC) Secretary General Gwede Mantashe has told the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) that the party did not ask President Jacob Zuma to resign because doing so would have torn the movement apart.

Mantashe was speaking at NUM's central committee meeting in Tshwane on Thursday.

He says the party will elect a new leader at its conference in December, where Zuma's fate will be decided.

“We will engage in discussions that will help us re-instil confidence in the movement.”

The NUM has made its stance clear on President Zuma, reiterating its call for him to step down.

Mantashe told members that the ANC has learned from its previous mistakes and doesn’t want to be “adventurous” when dealing with calls for him to leave office.

“Therefore, the option we opted for was investing everything in trying to build unity of the movement.”

Mantashe says members should wait for the ANC conference in December, at which a new leader will be elected.

“We think that formula will work much better for us than rushing because now everybody is shouting ‘Zuma must go’.”

He says he's aware that many members of the alliance are unhappy with this approach but insists history will prove itself.

‘If we do that (remove Zuma) comrades, everybody will be happy for us and clap for us but the movement will be torn apart immediately.”

(Edited by Winnie Theletsane)