13/11/2017 12:20 SAST | Updated 13/11/2017 12:20 SAST

ANC Denies It Is Plotting To Remove Gwede Mantashe

"The ANC rejects with the contempt they deserve false, malicious and mischievous reports being peddled about the proceedings of the special NEC meeting."

Siphiwe Sibeko / Reuters
The ANC has denied it is about to remove its secretary-general, Gwede Mantashe.

The ANC has rubbished reports that it is plotting to remove the party's secretary-general, Gwede Mantashe, over his handling of the chaotic Eastern Cape elective conference.

A statement issued by the party on Monday said claims that a special national executive committee (NEC) meeting currently underway in Irene was discussing removing Mantashe were "false, malicious and mischievous".

"These rumors are peddled to sow confusion and division within the movement and are indicative of the media's laziness and total disregard for proper journalistic ethics in favor of populism and sensationalism," the statement said.

The special NEC meeting resumed on Monday, following an adjournment to allow the national working committee to refine the report to the NEC on the ANC Eastern Cape eighth provincial conference in October.

The ANC said the NEC would discuss the report as well as the draft organisational report to be tabled at the national conference from 16 to 20 December, when a new ANC leader will be elected.

Sources had told eNCA that a decision on whether or not to suspend Mantashe would be made on Monday morning.

It comes after Mantashe was named in Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa's proposed leadership team, if he is elected ANC president at the December conference.

News24 reported that the special NEC meeting had to be adjourned on Saturday and abandoned on Sunday as Gwede Mantashe faced the wrath of President Jacob Zuma's supporters for his handling of the violent Eastern Cape elective conference in October.

At least seven delegates were taken to hospital and one was wheeled out of the conference venue on a stretcher when violence erupted during the adoption of delegates' credentials, News24 reported.

Those aligned to Zuma in the NEC are said to have argued that the NEC deployees' report was "flawed" with several things "missing" and Mantashe was slammed for allowing the elective conference to go ahead. "Some openly accused him of being biased," an NEC member told News24.