REPORT: Mantashe pours cold water on Zuma exit allegations


African National Congress (ANC) Secretary-General Gwede Mantashe has reportedly dismissed speculation that the party’s National Executive Council (NEC) would call for President Jacob Zuma to step down.

Briefing the media at the end of a four day NEC meeting in Pretoria on Sunday, Mantashe said the party had taken collective responsibility for its poor showing during the recent local government elections, and would refrain from pointing fingers at a single individual.

“If we wanted to point fingers at the president, many would have said are we so weak that we do not determine the direction of the organisation collective? There was no proposal that the president step down,” he said.

He has since stated the party would take up the role of opposition in a number of municipalities, if it fails to reach a coalition agreement with smaller parties. According to Mantashe, the party has consulted with a number of opposition organisations apart from the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) despite reports.

“In 27 municipalities, including four metros, there is no outright winner. Why do we look into coalitions? Is it a thing of power? Is it about keeping the DA out? Is it about being part of a coalition government? What is the basis for a coalition? We are not discussing the EFF per se, we are discussing coalitions,” News24 quoted Mantashe as saying after he ruled out the NEC had discussed Zuma’s exist.

A number of municipalities are expected to table its first council meeting by Friday although it still remains unconfirmed whether any coalition in three of the country’s biggest Metros, Johannesburg, Tshwane and Nelson Mandela Bay, would be revealed in advance.