ANC members battle for spots in Parliament

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Johannesburg - The ANC will finally hold its national list conference this coming weekend to decide who the party will deploy to Parliament after the elections.

The party has delayed the hosting of the list conference, mainly due to the death of Nelson Mandela and the launch of its manifesto.

The conference, which will be held at the end of the extended National Executive Committee (NEC) lekgotla, is expected to be a contentious one as it will determine the future of many of the ruling party’s senior leaders.

Many of the ANC’s provinces struggled to hold their provincial list conferences, which were in many instances marred by disputes over credentials and delegates from branches.

Party president Jacob Zuma already tops the provincial lists – including the contentious Gauteng list, which has nominated Premier Nomvula Mokonyane to be sent to Parliament, a clear indication of the opposition to her re-appointment as premier.

But the ANC’s guidelines on the list process to nominate leaders to Parliament has proven very strict to provinces, with an emphasis that those nominated must be experienced and have expertise in certain fields.

The ANC has already warned that the list conference is likely to cause tensions, but emphasised that a simple process would probably lead to fewer disputes and appeals.

“List processes by nature will cause tensions in the organisation because some win and some lose and the order of names is important.

“Our task is to allow a process that will have enough space for discussions, democratic participation, lobbying, objections, fair hearings and transparency in ordering and acceptance of results,” read the guidelines.

Meanwhile, the party is expected to finalise details of its election campaign. A senior ANC leader said the party was in a good position for its election campaign as it had already launched its manifesto, with many provinces launching their provincial manifestos this weekend.

According to the leader, most provinces were expected to lobby one another and make trade-offs to ensure their preferred leaders were nominated on the list of MPs.

“Because provinces have their own people that they want to send to Parliament, you are likely to see them lobbying each other to support their own nominees.

“That is the only way to ensure that your preferred people are voted in – to support their own names so they can also offer you their support,” said the leader.

ANC spokesman Keith Khoza would not confirm the dates for the national list conference and the extended NEC lekgotla.

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Sunday Independent

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