ANC secretary-general Gwede Mantashe has emerged the biggest winner after a two-weeks battle with President Zuma’s anointed leader in Nelson Mandela Bay, Andile Lungisa.
BuzzSouthAfrica gathered that the newly-elected Nelson Mandela Bay ANC chairperson Lungisa has resigned from his position with immediate effect.
His resignation comes after the ANC national executive committee (NEC) reiterated calls for the defiant leader to step down during the party’s meeting over the weekend.
Mantashe told reporters on Monday afternoon while speaking at a post-NEC meeting briefing at the party’s Luthuli House headquarters that Lungisa has stepped down.
“The NEC took a decision [and] reaffirmed its previous decision. It left further action to the province rightfully because regions are under the jurisdiction of provinces‚” Mantashe said.
Lungisa’s resignation was also backed by various structures, including the REC, NEC and provincial executive committee (PEC).
Regional executive committee (REC) secretary Themba Xathula confirmed Lungisa’s resignation and added that his deputy will take over his position until the party elects a new chairperson.
Lungisa, who stayed in power for just two weeks, reportedly, announced he would be contesting for the position of the provincial secretary at the party’s elective conference, scheduled to hold in July.
The position of the provincial secretary, which the embattled leader is eyeing, is currently occupied by Oscar Mabuyane.
Good enough for him, the Regional Executive Committee (REC) said they’ve taken a decision to support Lungisa in July when he stands for the new position.
“As the REC, we have taken a conscious decision to support Lungisa for the position of secretary in the forthcoming elections in July,” Xathula said.
Andile Lungisa had ascended to power against Mantashe’s directive, which barred him from contesting for the chairperson position since he’s a member of the Provincial Executive Committee (PEC).
Last week, the ANC’s top six which includes Jacob Zuma‚ Cyril Ramaphosa‚ Baleka Mbete‚ Gwede Mantashe‚ Jessie Duarte and Zweli Mkhize gave Lungisa until March 24 to resign or face disciplinary actions, but he appealed to the national structures to deal with the issue.
Prior to his resignation, he received overwhelming support from Sasco, former ANC Western Cape chairman Marius Fransman and former Bay regional chairman Mike Xego.
In a long Facebook testimonial, Fransman criticized Mantashe for the way in which he handled the matter, accusing him of failing the movement.
“I call on Comrade Andile Lungisa not to despair. I call on you, young man, not to blame the organisation but to realise that individuals being entrusted with critical responsibility can indeed fail the values and esteem of the very offices they hold,” he wrote.
In response, Mantashe told Fransman, who happens to be his arch-enemy to “go sell ice-cream”.