Gwede Mantashe Eskom

Minister Gwede Mantashe briefs media following State of the Nation Address Debate. Photo: GCIS

Deputy President Gwede Mantashe? Gweezy has his say on campaign

Could we see Gwede Mantashe as the next Deputy President of the ANC and country? Gwede has finally responded to the reports.

Gwede Mantashe Eskom

Minister Gwede Mantashe briefs media following State of the Nation Address Debate. Photo: GCIS

David DD Mabuza. He’s the Deputy President of the country and the ANC. Amongst ANC members he is known as “the cat”. But could the party be set for a new deputy president before the end of 2022? According to several reports over the last few weeks, current ANC National Chairperson Gwede Mantashe is vying for the party’s number two job. Whether the idea of Mantashe going on to become deputy president terrifies you or not, the man himself has finally given his thoughts on the position. His answers will definitely surprise you.

Will Gwede Mantashe become ANC Deputy President?

In typical Mantashe fashion, the minister of energy and mineral resources has managed to link his possible push for the job to a conspiracy theory. As a result, he says it’s all nonsense and he isn’t interested. He even goes as far as claiming that he’s “under attack” by some trying to cause a rift between him and President Cyril Ramaphosa.

Mantashe was grilled all about it during an interview with City Press. And according to the minister, there is a “foreign” campaign out to get him.

“I’m running [my department] to the best of my ability. Many journalists and editors have created a picture of an isolated Gwede Mantashe. I’m running mineral resources and energy. I’m not running renewable energy. I’m running mineral resources and energy.”

Gwede Mantashe told City Press

Mantashe was once unfortunately publically described as “the tiger” in the bedroom. He has also described that “campaign” he says as driving a wedge between him and Ramaphosa as being “foreign-funded and run by institutions here.”

So is he really running or not?

If you are someone that believes the words that come out of politicians mouths, then you can breathe a sigh of relief. Gwede Mantashe is 67-years-old in June and says he is too old to be Deputy President.

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So has he ever been running a campaign after all? Despite all his speeches to ANC branches, Mantashe says people are just “imagining something that does not exist”. The most positive claim from the minister? His belief that the next deputy president needs to be someone younger.

“I think the deputy president must be a younger and more energetic person who is also considered for succession. I’m old. When the president retires, if he takes another term, I will retire as well. So why should I chase a position for the sake of a position?”

Who elese is in the running?

That “younger” candidate could be Justice Minister Ronald Lamola. Lamola has said publically that he will respond “at the right time”.

Lamola is a key Ramaphosa ally and was one of the first ANC members to call for then-president Jaboz Zuma to be removed from office. He is seen to be a strong pick to take on the number two position.

So it looks like it won’t be Gwede Mantashe. But who will it be? We will find out when the ANC holds its National Elective Conference in December.