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Johannesburg - The ANC would not reveal its candidate list for Parliament and the provinces before the election date was announced, the party said on Tuesday.
“Once that date is announced you are given a limited period to submit your list,” secretary general Gwede Mantashe told reporters in Johannesburg.
“Preferably it is better to release your list when you have registered it with the IEC (Independent Electoral Commission).”
On February 12, 2009, then president Kgalema Motlanthe issued a proclamation declaring April 22, 2009 as the date elections would be held.
The African National Congress released its list publicly on February 25, 2009.
Mantashe on Monday said the list was given to the party's national list committee to go through.
“The national list committee doesn't just rubber stamp what is brought to it. It discusses the balancing of the list and so forth.”
Mantashe was briefing the media after the African National Congress's national executive committee meeting, its two-day lekgotla and its list conference which were held in Pretoria at the weekend and Monday.
Mantashe held up two books which he said had the names of the party's candidates. However, these lists were not distributed to the media.
He did, however, confirm that President Jacob Zuma was number one on the list followed by party deputy president Cyril Ramaphosa.
Mantashe said compiling the ANC's list was a painstaking process.
“It's not a question of a leadership locking itself in a room and deciding... we go through a painstaking exercise,” he said.
“The conference was the culmination of a massive exercise in participatory democracy involving ANC members in thousands of branches throughout the country over a number of months.”
Mantashe said getting on the ANC's list should not be about “who we know” or based on individuals' interests.
“It should be a democratic process... intervention should never undermine the democratic process.”
Asked whether the list could be changed before it was submitted to the IEC, Mantashe said it was unlikely.
“The list is not cast in stone because it is cast in steel.
“That is the list of the ANC that came through a process. If there are changes to the list then it would have to be compelling changes.”
The party did not have the freedom to just change the list when it felt like it.
Mantashe also pointed out that a person's position on the list did not determine where they would be appointed.