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Mantashe: ANC Gauteng jumped the gun with Mbeki statement

The ANC in Gauteng have run ahead of themselves by revealing that former president Thabo Mbeki would be roped in to lure middle-class voters ahead of next year's general elections, the ANC said on Sunday.

"The statement by Gauteng is just unfortunate. They have just ran ahead of themselves," secretary general Gwede Mantashe said.

The Sunday Times reported that the party had asked Mbeki for help in capturing Gauteng's middle-class voters.

"We are pulling out all the stops and using all the resources of the ANC," the party's Gauteng provincial secretary David Makhura told the paper.

He said the ANC would hold house meetings and public dialogues headed by Mbeki, the country's Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe and ANC deputy president Cyril Ramaphosa.

The paper reported that the strategy arose out of fears of President Jacob Zuma's unpopularity with the middle class. Zuma would instead be used to woo the poor and working class voters in the province.

Win over young voters
"The president is leading our direct contact with the people. He is not going to be in those house meetings [in the suburbs]. We are using him for big community meetings and door-to-door work," he was quoted as saying.

Makhura told the paper that Cabinet ministers such Sports Minister Fikile Mbalula and Public Enterprises Minister Malusi Gigaba would be used to try and win over young voters.

Mantashe said deployment of leaders to provinces would be done centrally and they would send leaders anywhere despite the circumstances of the area.

"There is no constituency and profile of constituency that suits a particular individual. We will send a person whom we think will be able to deal with the audience that will be attended by that leader," he said. – Sapa

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