JOHANNESBURG - ANC presidential hopeful Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma has hit out at party secretary-general Gwede Mantashe after a string of tweets that seemed to endorse her opponent in the race to become ANC president.
Mantashe said the party would be heading into a crisis if President Jacob Zuma resisted handing over to his deputy, Cyril Ramaphosa.
If President Zuma recists to handover to Deputy President Ramaphosa, there will be a crises. If that happens, there will be a crises— Gwede Mantashe (@GwedeMantashe1) September 24, 2017
When Tambo handed over to Mandela, that was smooth. Mandela handed over to Mbeki. When Mbeki resisted, there was a crises— Gwede Mantashe (@GwedeMantashe1) September 24, 2017
Dlamini-Zuma responded: "As a disciplined ANC member, ANC elections are a democratic process that is done by the branches of the ANC, anyone who predicts chaos in the ANC when the branches are exercising their democratic right is not a true cadre of the ANC.
She was addressing an ANC cadres forum on the KwaZulu-Natal South Coast alongside provincial chairperson Sihle Zikalala.
Zikalala also criticised Mantashe's comments.
"Those people who are predicting chaos are trying to instigate chaos, and we as members of the ANC will need to be very very vigilant and not be provoked by people who will sound as alarmists serving agents provocateurs.
"That is totally out of order and wrong. There will be no chaos.
Zikalala said in a number of instances deputies had not been elected to the presidential position. "If people believed deputies must be elected we could have been led by Comrade Willies [Mchunu, the KwaZulu-Natal premier a] long time ago."
#DlaminiZuma Zikalala:Cele wasn't pushing for Willies Mchunu to be chair when Zweli Mkhize left, he has forgotten this— Samkele maseko (@samkelemaseko) September 24, 2017
The KwaZulu-Natal ANC leadership, which is in dispute following a High Court ruling that declared a 2015 elective conference unlawful, says it sees Dlamini-Zuma as the person who can unite and lead the ANC.