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Mantashe: A better ANC is good for the country

With the country heading to the polls in 2019 for the national and provincial elections, Gwede Mantashe says it is essential that the ANC recovers lost ground.

Always in the spotlight, surrounded by journalists and microphones, outgoing ANC secretary-general Gwede Mantashe makes his last press briefing on 18 December, 2017. Picture: Thomas Holder/EWN

JOHANNESBURG - Outgoing African National Congress (ANC) secretary-general Gwede Mantashe says the party’s new leadership will have to hit the ground running.

With the country heading to the polls in 2019 for the national and provincial elections, Mantashe says it is essential that the ANC recovers lost ground.

Mantashe was giving his last briefing after 10 years in the job.

He’s up against Nathi Mthethwa, the Arts and Culture Minister, to become party chairperson.

Advice to the new ANC leadership from the man who has spent the past 10 years working mostly behind the scenes to hold the organisation together.

“We want a better ANC because a better ANC is good for the country.”

Mantashe says that the party has to confront scandals such as Nkandla and state capture head on.

“All we are saying is that anything that happens in government when the ANC is leading impacts directly on the ANC. Whether the ANC is part of it or not, if we say we are not part of it, we wash our hands. We do that at our own peril”

Mantashe says the state capture debate is still a source of division within the ANC and it’s up to the new leadership to come up with a coherent response to it.

WATCH: Gwede Mantashe's last press conference as ANC SG

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