ANC general-secretary Gwede Mantashe at a May Day rally outside the Johannesburg Stock Exchange in Sandton. Picture: Zintle Mahlati/Political Bureau
Johannesburg – ANC secretary-general Gwede Mantashe has spoken out against the party’s leaders who buy votes to get into leadership positions, and warned that the party faces losing power in 2019 if it doesn't change its ways.

Speaking at a May Day rally outside the Johannesburg Stock Exchange in Sandton on Monday, Mantashe said that because of vote-buying, the party ended up with “accidental leadership”.

“When you combine factionalism and corruption, you will have what I call accidental leadership-succession. You find that people who become leaders are those who have access to money and go around with money and distribute They get voted into power and after that we all ask ourselves ‘by the way, who is this'?"

Mantashe called for unity in the tripartite alliance. “We are going through a difficult period. Factions are very strong and undermine the ANC. Cosatu makes the mistake of thinking that problems in the ANC are problems of the ANC. Problems in the ANC are problems of the alliance.

"We can't be strong by destroying each other or undermining each other. If the ANC is weak, Cosatu is going to be weak. Cosatu must wake up”

He said the December elective conference should elect a leader to unite the party. “If we come up with a leadership (in December) that says to society that looting will continue in the new leadership that we elect, I can tell you we can kiss 2019 goodbye.

“It is in your interests for us not to kiss 2019 goodbye, it is in your interests that you work hard enough that the ANC rediscovers itself. Today, the biggest problems are looting, corruption, factionalism and nepotism. We must come up with solutions for those problems today,” he urged.

Mantashe reminded Cosatu that if the ANC falls apart, so will Cosatu. He said: “What we bring today is a message of unity. Unity of the alliance, unity of the ANC.

"When the alliance is united, it makes things happen. When the alliance is divided and fighting among itself, it destroys the gains it has made."

The Star