ANC secretary-general Mr. Mantashe, on Sunday, gave the thumbs down to a possibility that President Jacob Zuma may make a comeback for a third term during the party’s next elective conference.
Mantashe categorically stressed that the ANC doesn’t prohibit its party leaders from standing for a third term but maintained that the ANC in 2007 unanimously decided that it will not allow it to happen, that the leader of the party should be the same person who would take the reins as South African president.
He revealed that the ruling party also insisted in 2007 that the only person permitted to take the reins as South African president would be the leader of the party.
Digging deeper, he divulged that one of the reasons why Thabo Mbeki lost to then resurgent Jacob Zuma in 2007 in Polokwane was because he [Mbeki] stood for a third term.
Irrespective of that, had Mbeki won, Mr. Mantashe said he would have been the head of the governing party but wouldn’t have continued as South Africa’s president after 2009.
He reiterated that although it is not expressly stated, the ANC remains opposed to a third term, as the party’s Polokwane resolutions made the party’s position on the matter clear.
Mantashe was reacting to EFF leader Julius Malema’s comment on Sunday morning ahead of the ruling party’s 105th birthday.
Malema, on Friday, claimed that there are strong indications that President Zuma will likely stand for a third term during the ruling party’s elective conference in December.
“#3rdTermLoading mmmmm my lips are sealed but don’t say I didn’t warn you, South Africa…” he wrote on Twitter.
Malema’s comment left many of his mammoth supporters questioning how possible it would be while others bluntly knocked it off.