SA has solid foundations and won't collapse because it is threatened - Mantashe

In a one-on-one with Eyewitness News, Gwede Mantashe shared his thoughts on some of the leaked audio from a top six meeting with former President Jacob Zuma last month, labelling this as deliberate and intended to hurt the ANC.

Energy and Mineral Resources Minister Gwede Mantashe at a media briefing on the coronavirus on 25 March 2020 in Pretoria. Picture: Kayleen Morgan/EWN

JOHANNESBURG - African National Congress (ANC) national chairperson Gwede Mantashe said that South Africa’s democracy would not collapse because it was threatened.

In a one-on-one with Eyewitness News, Mantashe shared his thoughts on some of the leaked audio from a top six meeting with former President Jacob Zuma last month, labelling this as deliberate and intended to hurt the ANC.

Over recent weeks, leaked audio of closed party meetings have found their way on social media, with the party’s deputy secretary-general Jessie Duarte being heard siding with Zuma on the Zondo Commission and describing the country’s Chief Justice as a disappointment.

In Zuma’s response to the Constitutional Court considering a sanction against him after defying its order for him to return to the commission, he warned that the country’s democracy could be reduced to ashes.

But Mantashe said that South Africa and its people were too resilient for such.

Mantashe insisted on separating the party’s position from individual views when it came to the state capture commission.

While he did not want to be drawn into sharing his own views on Zuma’s attitude to both the commission and the Constitutional Court, he did answer questions regarding his "ashes of democracy" statement.

"This country is based on foundations that are solid and it is not fragile and it is not going to collapse because it is threatened."

Meanwhile, Mantashe seemed reluctant to share his thoughts on his own political future, saying that he would make those decisions in due time.

He admitted that his role as chairperson was far less stressful than the secretary-general position he held for 10 years.

Even though he admitted that it was not compulsory for an ANC president to run for a second term, Mantashe said that it was always good to allow a leader to see their work through.

"If under President Ramaphosa the economy achieves 3% growth and sustains it and pushes it further, then we have done well and it would be foolish to drop the driver of the programme."

The ANC is expected to elect new leadership at the end of 2022.

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