Gwede Mantashe (left) addresses media for the last time as ANC secretary-general. He is flanked by party spokesman Zizi Kodwa. Picture: Getrude Makhafola/ANA

Johannesburg - The African National Congress (ANC) secretary-general should be accessible and try not to get angry, outgoing secretary-general Gwede Mantashe said as he offered advice to the incoming official to be elected at party's 54th national conference taking place in Johannesburg.

Mantashe said his organisational report contained a “handover report” section for the incoming secretary-general.

“You must be quick on your feet...don’t be angry. Allow members to shout at you, insult you, but don’t get angry. Media will drag you through the mud, pick up the phone and call that journalist and talk to them,” he told reporters at the Nasrec conference centre on Monday.

Mantashe, who held the powerful secretary-general position for two terms, has been nominated for party chairperson this time around and is going head to head against national executive committee member Nathi Mthethwa. 

Read: #ANC54: Party must provide leadership, says Mantashe

Mantashe promised reporters he would introduce the new ANC secretary-general as soon as results are announced.

“I am gonna bring the new secretary-general to you...how you engage with him is none of my business,” Mantashe said, eliciting laughter from the assembled media.

Former KwaZulu-Natal premier Senzo Mchunu and Free State Premier Ace Magashule are the candidates for the secretary-general position.

The 62-year-old Mantashe was recently derided as a flip-flopping official on social media platforms, with the term “Mantashed” gaining traction in popular culture. He was accused of ”Mantashing” on his views regarding calls for President Jacob Zuma to step down, having initially supported such calls.

African News Agency/ANA