ANC secretary-general Gwede Mantashe
Johannesburg - ANC MPs who voted in favour of a vote of no confidence in President Jacob Zuma on August 8 were suffering from an “Askari impulse”.

This was the blistering attack by ANC secretary-general Gwede Mantashe when he delivered a lecture on the legacy of former ANC president OR Tambo in Vosloorus, Ekurhuleni, on Sunday.

Mantashe took a cue from one of the articles written by political analyst Aubrey Matshiqi who associated the behaviour of defiant ANC members to Askaris who turned against their own comrades during the Struggle.

“This was not coined by me, but I agree with him,” Mantashe said. This evoked emotions among the crowd, particularly older ANC members who still remembered how Askaris “massacred” young people in the area as well as in Duduza, Nigel and Tembisa.

He made those comments as fiery ANC MP Makhosi Khoza, one of those who wanted Zuma gone, failed to pitch up for the disciplinary hearing against her at the party’s KwaZulu-Natal headquarters.

In an indirect reference to Khoza, Mantashe said: “You do not want to be a darling of everybody. They should have voted with a heavy heart in defence of the ANC.

“If the motion had succeeded, the entire cabinet would have been dissolved and Parliament would have been under the Speaker (Baleka Mbete) for 30 days, during which time a president had to be elected. If no agreement was found, Parliament would have been dissolved and new elections held within 90 days.”

Political Bureau