Keep criticism inside the party, urges Mantashe

19 November 2012 - 02:04 By GEORGE MATLALA and SIBUSISO NGALWA
Gwede Mantashe. File photo.
Gwede Mantashe. File photo.

ANC secretary-general Gwede Mantashe has cautioned the party's intellectual members against harming the party when commenting about its performance.

Mantashe, in an organisational report to be delivered at the 53rd national congress next month, urged those who are unhappy with the party not to air their views in public.

"It is more harmful when intellectuals of the movement, who are the product of the investment of the ANC, criticise the movement as outsiders. They must [realise] that there is more value derived from intellectual engagement from within the structures of the ANC than [from] contesting each other in public.

"ANC cadres must, at all costs, avoid hurting and bleeding the ANC," he said.

His report was presented at the crucial national executive committee meeting held to take stock of the ANC leadership's performance in the past five years. The four-day meeting, in Pretoria, also dealt with preparations for the end-of-year congress.

The meeting did not adopt Mantashe's report because members felt it did not give a true reflection of the ANC's achievements in the past five years. Mantashe was instructed to rework it.

In the report, Mantashe called on ANC leaders to take responsibility for both the successes and the failures of the party.

He said some ANC leaders had added their voices to those saying the current leadership of the party was failing and did not have a vision for the country.

Stinging criticism has come from ANC leaders, including former president Thabo Mbeki, who recently said the country was "directionless" under President Jacob Zuma, and ANC veteran and NEC member Pallo Jordan, who said Zuma had stripped the presidential office of its dignity.

In his report, Mantashe said the ANC Youth League had become a "counterforce" to the ANC and its behaviour had cost the movement dearly.