Poor old Gwede has had enough of party – and South African, it would seem – politics. The ANC NEC member confessed to News24 that he’s seriously thinking about calling it a day.
“It is too strenuous for me. I have done 10 years. It’s like 10 years in an oven. You can’t take it beyond 10 years. It’s too strenuous, it will kill me,”the elder politician said.
That said, Mantashe’s not ruled out the possibility of becoming deputy president, however unlikely that might seem at the moment.
“I am not sure. I won’t be a secretary general, that much I know,” he said when asked if he’d run for second in command.
“There are two positions in top six that are open. It’s deputy president and national chair, that is all. No one has nominated me for either, so it will be very presumptuous of me.”
There are those within the party who would have Mantashe become the next deputy president, a similar progression as that of Cyril Ramaphosa, who also served as SG before taking up the almost-top job.
Ramaphosa, alongside Baleka Mbete and Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma has been fingered as a potential candidate for president of the ANC and SA after Zuma – as far as we know – steps down.
“Look at my beard in that picture (referring to when he became secretary general back in 2007). It is pitch black. Look how it is now. That is what this office does to you. Taking it beyond 10 years, it’s like committing suicide,”Mantashe said.