Mantashe: I saw signs of dirty tricks in run-up to ANC national conference

While some in the ANC have denied the presence of irregularities, including bogus delegates, Gwede Mantashe says not everyone played fair.

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 there was what he calls dirty tricks during campaigning for the next party leadership but the movement wants to focus its energies on regaining lost ground.

The ANC went to conference at the weekend beset by various controversies, court challenges and delays.

The next ANC leadership is expected to be announced later on Monday.

Mantashe has been briefing the media this morning, in what could possibly be his last address as secretary-general after 10 years at Luthuli House.

While some in the ANC have denied the presence of irregularities, including bogus delegates, Mantashe says not everyone played fair.

“I saw signs of those dirty tricks as we were coming to this conference on everyone who was contending and contesting any position and we said that’s what politics is all about.”

Mantashe has also lamented the repeated mentions and predictions of an implosion of the 105-year-old party.

He says the ANC will focus its attention on winning back people’s trust.

“We’re working to regain the lost ground as we saw in the local government elections, we want to regain that, we don’t to be relegated into a rural party.

“We want to regain the metros and we want to be a strong ANC. So anybody who wants to question whether 2019 you have doubts or not, we can’t have doubts about 2019.”