Gwede Mantashe lashes out at Zuma over open letter

The African National Congress' (ANC) Gwede Mantashe is unhappy over former president Jacob Zuma's open letter to his successor, Cyril Ramaphosa and has taken aim at him for being part of a movement that is hell-bent on dismantling the party.


Mantashe spoke during a virtual lecture hosted by the ANC Sarah Baartman Region in the Eastern Cape on Thursday, 10 September 2020. The focus was organisational renewal.


"It would be easier to just plunge into the president of the organisation and attack him. I describe it as a choreographed attack on the president," he said.

Mantashe: Anti-Ramaphosa movement 'counter revolutionary'


Mantashe also seemed to be taking shots at ANC Nelson Mandela Bay councillor Andile Lungisa, who called on the party to investigate Ramaphosa for his CR17 campaign funding, which has been a bone of contention as the factionalism reaches boiling point.


He said there seems to be a movement made up of mainly Zuma supporters, that is far from pleased with Ramaphosa's leadership.


"Where you find someone in PE writing an open letter to the president. Someone in northern KZN writing a letter…all of them attacking this president. It appears to be a mass movement that is very unhappy with the president," Mantashe added.


Mantashe said these attacks were aimed at weakening the pillars of the organisation, with Ramaphosa being one of them.


"It appears revolutionary, but when you look into it, it is counter revolutionary," he went on.

Ramaphosa and Zuma's letters


It was initially Ramaphosa's own open letter, addressed to the party, which set things in motion. In it, he calls on ANC members to acknowledge how the corruption has plagued the party.


He told members to be sensitive to the concerns that have been raised by citizens and the people who voted them into power.


"Today, the ANC and its leaders stand accused of corruption. The ANC may not stand alone in the dock, but it does stand as accused number one. This is the start reality that we must now confront," he said.


Zuma hit back, labelling Ramaphosa's letter as a mere public relations exercise with the main aim of saving his own skin.


"Mr President your letter is fundamentally flawed in several respects and plays right into the hands of those who seek to destroy the ANC and build from its ashes a counter-revolutionary party under the guise of fighting corruption," it reads in part.

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