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Accusations that delegates were bribed are baseless, says Mabuyane

Re- elected ANC Eastern Cape chairperson Oscar Mabuyane

Re- elected ANC Eastern Cape chairperson Oscar Mabuyane

Published May 13, 2022

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CAPE TOWN - Re- elected ANC Eastern Cape chairperson Oscar Mabuyane has described the allegations of delegates having been bribed at the party’s ninth elective conference last week as being baseless, saying those who chose to use money to buy votes were not members of the ANC, but were just in the organisation.

In an exclusive interview with the Cape Times on Thursday, Mabuyane said some of the allegations were unsubstantiated and malicious.

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“They have no basis to start with. As a journalist your responsibility is to establish the validity of any information that you receive. In so doing you have to be very objective. Having said that, I need to bring to your attention the fact that lobby groups campaigned for their preferred candidates.

“We do not encourage our members to use money in influencing a specific position, including campaigns. Members of the ANC must always be persuaded politically and ideologically to make informed choices. Those who chose to use money to buy votes are not members of the ANC, but are in the ANC. They are hangers-on who do not understand the values of our organisation.”

He said the use of money to buy votes in ANC elective conferences was an alien and foreign culture that must be confronted and defeated by genuine members of the ANC.

Mabuyane, a staunch ally of President Cyril Ramaphosa, emerged victorious over former provincial treasurer Babalo Madikizela, with his entire slate winning the conference.

Before the conference on Friday, Madikizela had urged his supporters to take the bribe money from those competing with him, but to vote “the right way”.

“We have f***l money. They will give you money, they will give you money. They are part of the establishment.

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They are the haves. They've been in power in the ANC for 12 years. If they bribe you, you must take the money and do the right thing, comrades. Let’s remain focused and disciplined. This is the most important conference in the history of the ANC in the Eastern Cape,” Madikizela said.

But Mabuyane said: “If money was used in our conference, those who have evidence and proof must come forward so that we can deal decisively with all individuals who were involved in such practices.”

On the contentious step-aside resolution, Mabuyane said the party had implemented it with fairness, consistency and without bias.

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“The ANC delegates at Nasrec took the decision to introduce the step-aside rule as a matter of principle. The principles appeal to the political and revolutionary conscience of our members. It is aimed at saving the image of the ANC.

“Therefore, as members we have a responsibility to protect our brand – the ANC. If for whatever reasons the ANC delegates will vote against this noble principle, the view of the majority at the conference shall prevail, and as leaders we shall abide by that resolution.

It is not about individual choices or what we would like to see as leaders. It is about the ANC as an organisation.”

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He said the step-aside resolution had not been abused to weaken or purge rivals before last week’s conference.

“I really do not understand how the step-aside rule would have been used to purge ANC members in good standing when a rigorous and vibrant process started at branch and regional level. As the provincial leadership we have not received such grievances. “Our accreditation process was unfortunately long, but fair, hence it was finally approved overwhelmingly by all delegates.”

Mabuyane finds himself at the centre of a Hawks investigation after he and Madikizela were found to have personally benefited from funds meant to ferry mourners to the memorial service of the late Struggle icon Winnie Madikizela-Mandela. He is currently challenging the damning public protector report.

“This matter is sub judice. I would not like to talk about it at all.”

Professor Zwelinzima Ndevu, the director at the School of Public Leadership at Stellenbosch University, said: “Those who have money (sometimes ill-gotten) stand a good chance of winning the elections. I would not be surprised if that was the case in the Eastern Cape conference, however the numbers seem to suggest that money played little role in the outcomes. In my view the main factor that helped those who won was their track record in leadership, which was not perfect, but was far better than the other side.”

Independent socio-economic commentator, Dr Bhasela Yalezo, said some members would take the bribes because they wanted senior positions in the long run.

“Rumours have it that the culture of vote buying started in 2007, and from there it has continuously happened. So if a member of the ANC is able to say that, probably he knows about it. The question is, how clean he is when it comes to that? Is he not complaining about the very same thing he is involved in?”

Cape Times

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