'The NEC does not have the power to fire Zuma' - Mantashe

With scandal after scandal and seeming divisions within the party, the African National Congress (ANC) seems to be a party in trouble. Once of the biggest issues the ANC faces is the repeated scandal surrounding President Jacob Zuma and the party's inability to remove him.

Secretary General of the ANC Gwede Mantashe says he is plagued with messages saying that he is not doing his job in this regard - but says neither he or the NEC has the power to remove Zuma.

Read: Mantashe tweets views on ANC succession battle

I receive SMSs and Whatsapp messages almost every 10 minutes, with many people suggesting that 'as secretary general you are not doing your job, you are not firing the President'. And I always tell them that you must also have the power to hire, to have the power to fire.

Gwede Mantashe, Secretary General of the ANC

We've explained that the NEC does not have the power to fire. That is why I'm not fired up to now. I have not been reshuffled because the NEC has no power to do so. It is the conference that can do so.

Gwede Mantashe, Secretary General of the ANC

As for the trouble the ANC faces ahead of the National Conference, Manatshe says they have audited the various ANC branches and they know which branches are in good standing and which ones need to shape up.

Manatshe says that the branches of the party that are not in good standing will have to undergo processes to rectify that situation before the ANC National Conference is set to convene.

Part of the reason a branch may be due or lacking is because their elected leader's term is up.

Gwede Mantashe, Secretary General of the ANC

He says the processes to change this may be put on hold for the present, in order to for more branches to achieve good standing sooner.

I think we must delay this until we do what we call verification, which is monitoring branches that are curating branch general meetings. Only at that time will we be sure that we have 70% of the branches are in good standing. Then we will be ready for the conference.

Gwede Mantashe, Secretary General of the ANC

Despite the amount of work needed to be done in a short period of time, Mantashe says that everything will be sorted out by 15 November - the conference is due to start 16 December 2017.

Another concern for the ANC ahead of the conference is provincial structures that are tied up in litigious processes, like the Eastern Cape and Free State.

For Mantashe, these court cases speak more to individual's need for power, an issue he says must be addressed.

Read: ANC EC court challenge struck off the roll

To me, it tells me that the reality of the matter is not the process, it is the desire to be in power. If my faction doesn't succeed in winning a conference, I must appeal it and take it to court.

Gwede Mantashe, Secretary General of the ANC

It is a manifestation of commitment being replaced by greed. That is one thing we must deal with.

Gwede Mantashe, Secretary General of the ANC

To change this, Mantashe says that leaders should be held to high standards and not measure themselves by the lowest common denominator.

Listen to the full conversation below:


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