The African National Congress (ANC) wants to focus on its principles when selecting its next generation of leaders, secretary general Gwede Mantashe said on Monday.
“The succession debate should be taken to the principle level. Let’s go back and look at the documents of the ANC,” he told reporters in Johannesburg.
Failing to go back to party principles when identifying people for senior positions would deprive the ANC of quality leadership.
“If you nominate whoever, there must be an effort to explain the track record of that person. Is he dependable and so on,” he said. ANC members in the provinces would be asked their opinion about this idea.
It was important to focus on the processes to be followed in order to produce quality leaders.
President Jacob Zuma was expected to step down from his role as leader of the ruling party, at its 54th national conference in 2017. Other national leaders would also be selected at the event. There had been reports of factionalism and slates dominating conversations around Zuma’s successor.
Party branches had rejected calls for an early and a consultative conference. They said they wanted to wait until 2017 in order to attempt to unify the party and tackle problems facing the 104-year-old movement.
Mantashe said the ANC was not in favour of mentioning the names of Zuma’s possible successors.
“When it comes to names, there must be an effort to test the names against the principles. Then we will be investing in the quality of leadership,” Mantashe said.