ANC secretary-general Gwede Mantashe File picture: Nokuthula Mbatha/ANA Pictures

Johannesburg - ANC secretary-general Gwede Mantashe has warned against use of state resources to target political opponents, saying this was the route the National Party was on when the party started dying.

On Tuesday Mantashe, admitting that the country was drifting into a morass, argued that those using “dirty tricks” to taint the credibility of other leaders in the run-up to the party’s elective conference in December were in the business of killing the ANC.

“All we can say about state institutions being used is that we are hoping that we do not degenerate to the level where the Nationalist Party was, because that was the beginning of the end,” he said.

“If we go to a conference in December and people begin to be personal and go use all the dirty tricks, you must appreciate that it is not the dirty tricks that are important, but it is the destruction of the essence in politics and the destruction of the ANC,” he said.

Mantashe was reacting to questions from journalists in the wake of allegations of extramarital affairs against ANC presidential hopeful Cyril Ramaphosa as reported in our sister paper, The Sunday Independent.

Ramaphosa became the latest senior ANC figure to be embroiled in allegations of a sexual nature following Minister in the Presidency Jeff Radebe, another hopeful for the presidency of the party.

Mantashe said hopefuls and their backers should compete on what they were going to do to save the country from the “morass it’s drifting into” instead of dirty tricks.

“To us, comrades must contest on the basis of logic, policies, traditions and the basis of values of the ANC. Comrades must present their case.”

Political Bureau