ANC secretary-general Gwede Mantashe has rejected an apology from Andile Lungisa, the newly-elected Nelson Mandela regional chairman.
Lungisa was elected to his new position last weekend, despite Mantashe’s warning that he should not stand for election in the regional conference. Mantashe had asked Lungisa to withdraw from the contest as the ANC’s constitution does not allow for a leader serving in a senior structure to go and contest for a position in a junior structure, as per the governing party’s 2012 conference resolution.
Lungisa is an Eastern Cape provincial executive committee member. But Lungisa refused to withdraw from the race, accusing Mantashe of factionalism. Lungisa had told the Dispatch that Mantashe was using the ANC constitution “selectively” and also to protect a faction that the secretary–general was serving.
But Mantashe wrote back to Lungisa on Friday, informing him that he has reported Lungisa to the ANC officials, and that “I have further launched a charge to the NDC (national disciplinary committee) on the article in the Herald, the Dispatch sister paper) that attacks me in person and not the office.
“You are breaking the rule knowingly and that cannot be allowed,” said Mantashe in his letter.
After seeing Mantashe’s letter, Lungisa wrote yet another letter, this time apologising for his actions. But instead of sending it to Mantashe, he forwarded it to the media late on Sunday. Thereafter he called Mantashe and informed him that he has since retracted his earlier statement.
But Mantashe did not take kindly to that, saying a war which was started in the media has to be resolved in the public domain, and this was Lungisa’s own making.
Speaking to the Dispatch this morning, Mantashe said he had yet to receive Lungisa’s letter but confirmed receiving a call from him on Sunday.
“He (Lungisa) did phone me. But he insulted me in the media. He must apologise in the media so that the target audience he had when he was insulting me, receives the apology.
“My problem is that when the ANC handles issues in the processes of the organisation, it is no longer my decision to forgive or accept an apology. The matter is already in the processes of the ANC. What we will do is we will take that letter and put it in the processes of the ANC so that we can get to the bottom of this,” said Mantashe.
These are the letters between Lungisa and Mantashe: