Mantashe to ANC members: If you don’t like party’s resolutions, then leave

ANC chairperson Gwede Mantashe has slammed those arguing that the party's step aside resolution was inconsistent, saying that they were using that argument conveniently.

ANC chairperson Gwede Mantashe. Picture: Kevin Brandt/Eyewitness News

JOHANNESBURG - African National Congress (ANC) national chairperson Gwede Mantashe has reminded those denouncing party resolutions that the party was a voluntary organisation and if they did not like the rules, they could leave.

Mantashe has slammed those arguing that the step aside resolution was inconsistent, saying that they were using that argument conveniently.

He's defended the 2017 resolution as the party's secretary-general Ace Magashule has just days left to voluntarily step aside or face suspension.

READ: Yonela Diko: Jacob Zuma was a tragedy. Ace Magashule is a farce

Magashule is the most high-profile party leader facing criminal charges and, together with his supporters, he's consistently fought the resolution.

In a wide-ranging interview with Eyewitness News this week, Mantashe also criticised those who claim the step- aside resolution was created specifically to deal with Magashule.

WATCH: Mantashe on Zondo Inquiry, step aside resolution and economic transformation

For Mantashe, the 30-day grace period given to party members facing criminal charges was an opportunity for them to put the ANC and its reputation first.

He's concerned that some were deliberately confusing party members and the public about the step aside resolution.

The national chair said that it was not created to deal with Magashule: “In 2017, it was adopted and he was elected. This is not about comrade Ace.”

He hit out at leaders like former North West Premier Supra Mahuampelo and so-called radical economic transformation members’ argument that the resolution was at odds with the constitution, saying that debate was convenient and mischievous.

Mantashe also poked holes at Magashule’s own argument that only branches had the right to remove him.

“I, as Mantashe will know, you are dishonest cause delegates of the branches voted.”

The ANC chairperson has also denounced that those who continuously glorified their party's past, claiming that this was its most difficult period.

He said that many were conveniently forgetting challenges that led to the Seminal Morogoro Conference and problematic past leaders such as Pixley ka Isaka Seme.

MAGASHULE CREATING CRISIS FOR ANC

Mantashe said that Magashule was creating a crisis for the party by only meeting with former leaders who seemed to agree with his position on the step aside resolution.

With just a few days remaining for ANC members facing criminal charges to step aside, all eyes remain on Magashule, with many asking what the man in charge of the engine of the once-mighty liberation movement would do.

But Mantashe said that there was just no telling at this point: “I don’t know what he wants to do but he has 30 days to make a decision.”

However, Mantashe has raised concerns over Magashule’s consultations with some former leaders.

He has met with former President Jacob Zuma and treasurer-general Mathews Phosa but appeared to have snubbed former President Thabo Mbeki, MK commissar Josiah Jele and former ANC deputy president Kgalema Motlanthe.

“It seems you want to meet those who agree with you, those who give you different advice, you avoid meeting them.”

Mantashe even questioned why Magashule allowed NEC member Tony Yengeni to tag along on his visit to Zuma.

“Once you do that as a leader, meeting and getting advice from particular people, you are creating complications within the organisation.”

The 30-day deadline ends this week after which the party’s constitution, specifically clause 25.7, which speaks to the temporary suspension of office bearers and public representatives facing charges, should kick in.

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