ANC wants Motlanthe in govt
The African National Congress (ANC) wants its new deputy president, Kgalema Motlanthe, in government, ANC general secretary Gwede Mantashe said on Monday.
“As part of managing the transition we agreed as the national executive committee [NEC] that he [Motlanthe] should be deployed in government and in the executive,” Mantashe told the media following an NEC meeting at Esselen Park.
There has been much speculation on whether the ANC’s new leadership would want one of its own present in President Thabo Mbeki’s government.
This followed an intense leadership battle between Mbeki and Jacob Zuma, who ousted the former to claim the helm of the ruling party.
Mantashe said that the decision was taken by the ANC on Monday. The party’s leadership now has to “engage” Mbeki on the logistics of the matter in terms of what position Motlanthe would fill.
“The NEC has taken the decision today ... now execution must start,” he said.
Mantashe said the concept of two centres of power is an “artificial debate”.
He condemned weekend media reports indicating that NEC member Tokyo Sexwale had called for Mbeki to answer questions relating to the arms deal.
Mantashe rubbished the reports, placing on record that no decision had been taken at the NEC meeting that called on Mbeki to account for matters relating to the arms deal.
He said Sexwale had told the NEC that the arms-deal issue had been hitting headlines locally and internationally and therefore required attention. According to Mantashe, Sexwale had said: “Let’s pay attention to this issue.”
The ANC’s own report on the arms deal is being compiled and will be available to the party’s leadership at the next NEC meeting in May.
Mantashe reiterated that the report will be for the “internal consumption” of members of the NEC as its purpose is to inform the new ANC leadership about the arms deal.
The Democratic Alliance submitted parliamentary questions to Mbeki on Monday, asking him to clear the air on his alleged involvement in the arms deal.—Sapa