16/10/2017 15:55 SAST | Updated 16/10/2017 16:06 SAST

Jackson Mthembu Tells Lindiwe Sisulu: 'You Have Lost Your Marbles!'

The ANC's chief whip lashed out at presidential hopeful and ANC blue blood Lindiwe Sisulu, saying she should watch what she says before she commits any more "blunders".

Human Settlements Minister Lindiwe Sisulu.
Elizabeth Sejake/Foto24/Gallo Images/Getty Images
Human Settlements Minister Lindiwe Sisulu.

Jackson Mthembu, the ANC's chief whip in parliament, has launched a series of broadsides as party luminary and Cabinet minister Lindiwe Sisulu on Twitter on Monday, lashing her after she had a go at Gwede Mantashe, the ANC's secretary-general.

Mantashe earlier said the leadership transition needs to be managed carefully in order to avoid a crisis, that the deputy president must become president and that there are no prescripts that dictate that the next party leader must be a woman.

Sisulu did not take kindly to that, telling the Daily Dispatch that women "saved" the ANC when its leaders were underground.

"The question is: where was he [Mantashe] when we were fighting for this freedom in exile and in jail, which he today is abusing for his personal interest? He must hand over an ANC that is intact. Under him as an SG [secretary-general] we gave birth to Cope [Congress of the People] and EFF [Economic Freedom Fighters] and fractured Cosatu -- something we never imagined," she reportedly said.

Mthembu, who is known to have a fiery temper and has not made any bones about his support for Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa, shot back arguing that Sisulu -- whose parents are party luminaries Walter and Albertina -- is wrong in denigrating activists who did not go into exile. But not just in telling her she's wrong...

Mthembu, after syaing she's "lost her marbles", repeated himself and said: "She has lost it!" Sisulu, who is a member of Parliament, technically is part of his caucus. #Awks.

He then went in to bat for Mantashe, who was national organiser of the mineworkers' union NUM and led many a strike along with Ramaphosa, who was the union's general secretary.

Mthembu then took to Facebook*:

"It's very unfortunate that comrade Lindiwe Sisulu believes that the freedom we enjoy today was delivered by those who were in exile . She also wrongly asserts that only those from exile and prison have a better understanding of the ANC .

"She has completely forgotten that its the masses of our people , in their millions , who brought all of us this freedom . Yes our exiled comrades did make a contribution , but we owe our liberation to the various sectors of the SA society , the youth , the women , the workers , the religious community , the academia , the students and teachers , the business community and scores of UDF and MDM activist inside the country .

"Comrade Lindiwe has forgotten that it is these masses of our people who took the aparheid state head on without the cover and cushion of exile . Amongst the fearless activist we can count the current SG of our movement , comrade Gwede Mantashe , he was there as a shopsteward , he was there as a workers leader . He was there as part of the UDF and MDM formations , he contributed immensely to the freedom we all enjoy today . We know him because we were with him in the trenches of struggle . He is still there now to save our movement .

"Amongst the fearless activist we can also count the former SG of the ANC who is currently the Deputy President of our glorius movement , comrade Cyril Ramaphosa , he was also there as the leader of the workers , he was there in the UDF and the MDM formations . There is no friendship between comrade Gwede and comrade Cyri , but a long and time tested comradeship that brought aparheid to its knees . He is still there now to save our movement .

"We are convinced that the utterances of disrespect by comrade Sisulu directed at the millions who never went to exile or prison is as a consequence of her poltical opportunism reflective of political immarturity." (*Unedited)