More trouble for new Nelson Mandela Bay ANC leader?

Cape Town – Despite an endorsement from President Jacob Zuma, newly-elected ANC Nelson Mandela Bay chairperson, Andile Lungisa, might still have to answer for his pre-election utterances against party secretary general Gwede Mantashe. 

Mantashe laid a charge against Lungisa for his personal attack, the Herald reported on Monday.

He had reported Lungisa’s "posture" to ANC officials, as to "avoid making it my personal issue", he wrote in the letter dated March 10, which was published in the Herald. 

Mantashe said the rules had to be applied consistently and that Lungisa would not be the exception. He said Lungisa was being contemptuous of the organisation.

Lungisa was elected to the position in Nelson Mandela Bay this weekend, even though Mantashe believed it was in violation of the ANC constitution. 

In the run-up to the election, Lungisa accused Mantashe of not properly interpreting the rules and being factional.

Mantashe had said that because Lungisa was on the Eastern Cape ANC provincial executive committee (PEC), he was not allowed to run for the ANC regional chair position.

ANC's 'rightful position'

This was according to a resolution taken at the ANC's 53rd national congress in Mangaung in December 2012, which states that members cannot serve simultaneously on more than one constitutional structure.

Lungisa said he had officially apologised to Mantashe and wrote to him before the election.

"I wish to place it on record that I categorically and without reservation wish to retract the shameful comments I made regarding the honourable secretary general of our glorious movement, Cde Gwede Mantashe.

"I know Cde Gwede personally and he has always treated me and many others, particularly the young activists, with respect and empathy that a parent affords their children. Whilst we may disagree from time to time on political or procedural matters, he's consistently been a source of wisdom for me and many others.

"We were and continue to be driven only by the desire to see the ANC restored to its rightful position in our region and province. 

"Ngxe Mqwathi. Ndicela uxolo Dikela. [I am sorry]," Lungisa’s apology reads. 

On Sunday, Zuma endorsed Lungisa’s election to the post and praised the city for its young leadership. He outlined what the party looked for in a leader, implying that Lungisa fit the bill. 

“We look at the quality of the person; you look at the energy of the person. We look at the consistency of the person," he said.