Gwede Mantashe. Picture: BUSINESS DAY

Gwede Mantashe. Picture: BUSINESS DAY

The ANC national executive committee resolved that President Jacob Zuma should not step down but that the party rather focus on uniting the movement.

Secretary general Gwede Mantashe said there were “robust‚ difficult and candid” discussion about Zuma’s leadership.

The ANC felt it was “more urgent to direct energy at working on the unity” of the party.

The NEC had acknowledged that there was a negative perception towards the president and therefore allowed the debate to proceed.

 Mantashe said there was no vote on the motion tabled at the meeting.

“The ANC NEC has never debated on an issue‚ we persuade one another.”

The NEC had come to a consensus that Zuma should remain.

The day before the NEC started the ANC national working committee met with a group of veterans who were concerned about the state of the party.

The veterans had proposed that the ANC hold a consultative conference before it goes to its elective conference in 2017.

Mantashe said the ANC NEC had resolved to extend next year’s policy conference by one day. The first two days of the conference would be spent on assessing the state of the ANC.

The policy conference would be held from June 30 to July 5.

“The meeting held with the veterans affirmed that the party can’t be strong unless it works together for unity and cohesion‚” Mantashe said.

TMG Digital/BusinessLIVE