Following all the set backs experienced by the ruling party at the 2016 elections, a lot of people anticipate the party’s fall in the 2019 election, but ANC secretary-general Gwede Mantashe categorically stated that the party will return in full force come 2019.
All has not been well with the party prior, during and after the elections period especially after it lost in major metros including Nelson Mandela Bay and Tshwane.
Despite all that, Mantashe said the ruling party had run a good campaign.
According to Gwede Mantashe, the African National Congress will “go back to the drawing board” to improve its performance for the 2019 national elections.
“We are quite happy with the work of the ANC. We have no reason to legitimize the IEC (Independent Electoral Commission). We want to emphasize that,” ANC secretary-general Gwede Mantashe said.
“We have noticed that in major economic centers, we have slipped and we have a challenge on our shoulders to go back to the drawing board and re look into what is it that we are missing, work on it, improve and come back in 2019 to do much better.”
Speaking on criticism against the party for using South African celebrities in its campaign ahead of the elections, Mantashe said: “There is nobody who is a citizen who can (not) be used to campaign.
“Every citizen, whether you are a celebrity or not; whether you are from the rural areas … You are a citizen. ANC plans to come back stronger for 2019 polls. If you are a member of the ANC, you will campaign for your party. That is not ‘use’ of celebrities. Those celebrities who are not members of the ANC didn’t campaign for the ANC.”
EFF leader Julius Malema had accused the ANC of spending R1 billion on its campaign, including giving celebrities money and printing T-shirts.
In reply to this, ANC secretary Mantashe said: “We ran a good campaign. That we cannot take away. We slipped in some major economic centres, we noted that, but we will go away and come back in 2019.”
Speaking also on Malema’s walkout before President Jacob Zuma’s address to the nation on Saturday evening and the protest by four women in front of the podium, Mantashe said he was no expert on security matters “so I would never comment as a specialist on security matters,”
“I didn’t see the EFF, nor am I their member. I didn’t notice the walkout, so I can’t comment on it.”
Mantashe however noted that every South African has the right to protest, “A protest is a protest. People have a right to do so. That’s how free South Africa is. You can protest when the president is speaking; nobody disrupts you. You are allowed to protest,” he added, with regard to the demonstration.