The ANC has dismissed demands by the DA for it to reveal its premier candidates ahead of the elections. Picture: Armand Hough/African News Agency(ANA)

Johannesburg - The ANC has dismissed demands by the DA for it to reveal its premier candidates ahead of the elections. 

DA leader Mmusi Maimane accused the ANC of misleading voters ahead of general elections on May 8 by not revealing its candidates who may likely be elected to lead the country's nine provinces. 

Maimane said on Tuesday that the DA had revealed its premier candidates seven months ago with the aim of making it easier for voters to interrogate their policies and leadership potential. 

The party's prominent candidate has been Solly Msimanga who resigned as Tshwane mayor earlier this year to focus on campaigning for Gauteng's top job.

 "We have assembled, in our nine Premier candidates, a group of leaders that is truly diverse in terms of age, race and gender. They reflect not only our diverse and growing party but also our commitment to building One South Africa for All. We announced their candidacy seven months ago because it is important that voters know exactly who they get when they cast a vote for the DA," Maimane said. 

He criticised the ANC for cheating voters with an aim of placing its most tainted members as premiers. 

"They want people to blindly vote for them and then trust that they will somehow deploy a suitable cadre to the position of Premier, should they win the province. Not only is that extremely disrespectful to voters, but it has also never worked out well before," said Maimane.  

"That’s how they have, in the past, inflicted totally corrupt Premiers like Ace Magashule on the people of the Free State, or David Mabuza on the people of Mpumalanga, or Supra Mahumapelo on the people of the North-West. That’s why they hide their candidates until every vote has been cast," he said. 

ANC spokesperson Dakota Legoete dismissed the DA's demands for the ANC's premier candidate list. 

Legoete said the ANC had a long-standing decision to deal with premier nominations after the general elections. He said the party took the decision at its elective conference in 2007 and has followed this route in 2009 and 2014 and plans to do the same this year. 

"The ANC stance on premier candidates is based on a resolution we took in Polokwane that provincial executive committees who have convened after the elections recommend three names.  We can't be like the DA or any other party that announces their premier candidate before elections because ours is a consultative process with the provinces," Legoete said. 

"The PECs consider three names in the order of preference and then the NEC (national executive committee) considers the three names and appoints one out of the names recommended," he said.  

Legoete said the DA's accusations that the ANC planned to appoint questionable candidates was untruthful and that the PEC/NEC process was designed to ensure the best possible members are chosen. 

"That is why we recommend three names to ensure that the people who are appointed are credible," he said.