Premier league fails to block scathing diagnostic report at policy conference

Three provinces supporting former African Union (AU) commission chairperson Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma’s bid to be elected president of the ANC unsuccessfully attempted to prevent ANC secretary general Gwede Mantashe from presenting his scathing diagnostic report to the policy conference.

On Friday the Mail & Guardian reported on Mantashe’s diagnosis, which is critical of president Jacob Zuma, the Gupta family and state capture, and was presented on Friday night at the party’s policy conference in Soweto.

READ MORE: Mantashe lashes out

The report also described the ANC’s branches as being in decline and its membership captured and divided by factionalism.

The Mail & Guardian has learnt that a delegate from the Mpumalanga province was the first to object to the report being tabled, arguing that traditionally, the ANC’s policy conference did not receive an organisational overview.

Delegates from the Free State and KwaZulu-Natal then rose to support Mpumalanga’s objection.

Limpopo chairperson Stan Mathabatha then argued in favour of the report being presented.

But the matter was resolved when Mpumalanga chairperson David Mabuza arose to announce that his province would be withdrawing the objection.

READ MORE: ANC SG lists causes of party’s chaos, decline

Insiders say Mabuza withdrew after he realised the majority of the delegates did not support their attempts to stop Mantashe from speaking.


Together with the North West, these three provinces are known as the premier league and are seen as a support base for Dlamini-Zuma, who is Zuma’s preferred successor. 

Mantashe received rousing applause from delegates after concluding his diagnosis. 

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Govan Whittles

Govan Whittles is a general news and political multimedia journalist at the Mail & Guardian. Born in King William's Town in the Eastern Cape, he cut his teeth as a radio journalist at Primedia Broadcasting. He produced two documentaries and one short film for the Walter Sisulu University, and enjoys writing about grassroots issues, national politics, identity, heritage and hip-hop culture.

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