I saw some dirty tricks coming into conference – Gwede

ANC spokesperson, Zizi Kodwa, listens attentively to the party's outgoing secretary-general, Gwede Mantashe. PHOTO: YESHIEL PANCHIA

“I saw signs of those dirty tricks as we were coming into this conference on everyone who was contending and contesting any position.”

Outgoing secretary-general of the African National Congress (ANC), Gwede Mantashe, said on Monday that the election campaign for the party’s leadership had been characterised by “dirty tricks”, but said that was what politics was about.

This comes as the ANC on Monday is expected to announce its new top six officials following overnight election and voting by more than 4 000 party delegates.

ANC deputy president, Cyril Ramaphosa, and ANC MP, Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, are contesting for the position of the party’s president to succeed President Jacob Zuma.

“The run up to this conference was particularly difficult. We saw many things that have happened to all individual people who are standing for elections. I always remind people that history has a tendency of repeating itself. You know when [former South African Prime Minister Hendrik] Verwoerd was assassinated in parliament, his second-in-command was Ben Schoeman. Ben Schoeman never became the successor because the securocrats dirtied him, discredited him, and he gave up the contest, and they gave us BJ Voster,” Mantashe said.

“And I saw signs of those dirty tricks as we were coming into this conference on everyone who was contending and contesting any position, and that is what we said politics is about.”

During the election campaign for the ANC’s top job, Ramaphosa – who is married and has children – was alleged to have been engaged in extramarital affairs with at least eight women, one of them being a young university student, while Dlamini-Zuma’s campaign was alleged to have been funded by monies raised through illicit tobacco smuggling.

Despite the ANC presidential campaign being contested by seven candidates, Ramaphosa and Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma emerged as the only two candidates vying for president of South Africa’s ruling party after they accepted nomination.

Ramaphosa, also the deputy president of the republic, received 1 469 nominations from six provinces for president, while Dlamini-Zuma, a former cabinet minister and African Union Commission chairwoman, received 1 094 nominations.

 African News Agency (ANA)