At a media briefing after National Working Committee (NWC) meeting, Gwede Mantashe made clear Jacob Zuma’s position in the party.
The briefing, held at ANC headquarters Luthuli House on Wednesday morning, was addressed by two of the ANC’s top six, secretary general Mantashe and deputy secretary Jessie Duarte. The (NWC) meeting started on Monday morning and ended on Tuesday night. It followed the recent cabinet shuffle, which top members of the ANC publicly spoke out against.
Mantashe told journalists that, “no army general can allow his forces to be commanded by the enemy forces”. He was speaking about the motion of no confidence that could soon be brought to Parliament by opposition parties.
“No ANC member will vote in a motion of the opposition,” he said, and confirmed that party policy is to deal with matters internally.
Mantashe said that the reason for ex-Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan’s firing was a breakdown in the relationship between him and Zuma.
“The NWC accepted the irretrievable breakdown of the relationship between the President and a member of his Cabinet as sufficient explanation for the decision taken by the President,” he said.
When asked why the relationship had broken down, he said it was only the two in the relationship who could answer that.
Duarte said that the ANC had been aware of Zuma wanting to sack Gordhan from November last year.
“He did tell us last year, and the reasons were the breakdown in relationship,” she said.
Mantashe rubbished claims that the intelligence report that was handed to Zuma on Monday last week led to Gordhan’s sacking. He said the report was complicated and creating a lot of unhappiness.
“This was consequently presented as the only reason for his removal which was unfortunate and incorrect,” said Mantashe.