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Cape Town - DA Western Cape leader Ivan Meyer says the ANC is closing the democratic space and had no confidence in its own councillors to be available to serve in national and provincial parliaments.
Meyer criticised the ANC’s decision to bar serving councillors from being included on national and provincial candidate lists for next year’s elections.
The names of the ANC’s provincial and national candidates have started making the rounds.
Deputy Minister of International Relations Marius Fransman has been named as candidate for Western Cape pemier.
At least one ANC city councillor, Rhoda Bazier’s, name is on an ANC provincial list.
Other candidates on ANC provincial lists include Lionel Adendorf, Zodwa Magwaza, Khaya Magaxa and Pierre Uys. For national lists, Mcebisi Skwatsha, Max Ozinsky and Zou Kota are named.
It is believed that there is frustration among some ANC members over the ban on local councillors from being included on election candidate lists.
ANC provincial secretary Songezo Mjongile said the decision to bar councillors from being included on provincial and national lists was a long-standing one made by the National Executive Committee.
“Councillors are deployed for a five-year period and we don’t want any disruptions on local government level. We can deploy councillors elsewhere in exceptional circumstances, so it is not a rule because we can nominate councillors depending on circumstances.”
Mjongile said once branches nominated a councillor, the provincial and national list committee could consider the councillor’s nomination if it felt the person could add value to the ANC list.
A councillor would have to resign to serve provincially or nationally.
Criticising the ANC’s policy, Meyer told the Cape Times: “If the ANC says that councillors can’t be on provincial and national lists, then they are closing the democratic space for their own councillors and it also demonstrates that the ANC has no confidence in the quality of their own councillors.
“In practice it means they want to protect their own seats in Parliament.”
Meyer said sometimes people who were councillors made the best members of Parliament as they had experience in grassroot politics.
“Helen Zille was a councillor and then she became mayor and then premier. In the DA everyone is welcome to apply,” Meyer said.
Commenting on her nomination to the provincial election list, Bazier said: “I am aware of the nomination but at the moment it is hard to comment on whether I will avail myself as a provincial candidate.”
ANC chief whip in the city Xolani Sotashe said it was not for the DA to decide how the ANC deployed members. “It’s an organisation decision and everyone who is deployed in the ANC must respect that.”
While names of ANC candidates have been distributed, the DA is yet to start listing candidates as the party’s three processes for nominations start next month.
DA federal executive chairman James Selfe said that their lists would be finalised by March. However, he said national spokesman for the party Mmusi Maimane had been nominated as the DA’s premier candidate in Gauteng.