Picture: Phill Magakoe/African News Agency (ANA) Archives
Picture: Phill Magakoe/African News Agency (ANA) Archives

ANC to block corrupt leaders

By Siviwe Feketha Time of article published Aug 17, 2018

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Johannesburg - The ANC is set to block those leaders who are corrupt, convicted of crimes or facing serious allegations of wrongdoing from being the party’s public representatives in provincial and national governments.

This is contained in the party’s guidelines for the selection of candidates who the governing party will deploy to the provincial legislatures, Parliament and central government after the 2019 elections, a process that is likely to see comrades jostling for cushy jobs.

In the document, titled “ANC candidate selection process 2019 elections”, the party says it plans to scrutinise the list of candidates to ensure that they meet the criteria for selection and that they don’t contain “any factors that will bring the ANC into disrepute”.

While the guidelines are not new, they are set to put the governing party on a collision course with its alliance partners, as the document clearly states that no seats will be “reserved” for the SACP, Cosatu and Sanco (SA National Civic Organisation).

The criteria for candidates - who must all be members in good standing with a proven track record of commitment and involvement in the party, include:

  • No criminal record after 1996 that resulted in a sentence of 12 months or more, without the option of a fine.
  • No history of ill-discipline or corruption.
  • No history of involvement in fostering divisions and conflict.
  • No other breaches of the ANC’s code of conduct.

The party was initially scheduled to hold nominations for candidates in June and July to screen them and hold provincial list conferences this month, and conclude the selection process for the national list conference and the vetting of candidates by mid- September.

But the process is yet to get under way.

The ANC has recently come under fire from opposition parties and NGOs for retaining leaders who were either convicted or implicated in serious allegations of wrongdoing.

In June, the ANC caused a stir when it made its national executive member Tony Yengeni chairperson for crime and corruption at its election workshop, despite his being a convicted fraudster.

In Gauteng, the party faced another backlash after two embattled former health MECs - Brian Hlongwa and Qedani Mahlangu - were elected to its provincial executive committee recently.

Hlongwa - who is currently the ANC’s chief whip in the Gauteng Legislature - is implicated in a R1.2 billion corruption scandal which took place during his tenure.

And Mahlangu presided over the Life Esidimeni tragedy in which 144 psychiatric patients died after being sent to unlicensed NGOs by her department.

The two, plus former Emfuleni mayor Simon Mofokeng - who left his post following allegations of sexually grooming a 14-year-old - are currently before the ANC’s provincial integrity committee.

The party has indicated that it could remove from its ranks all those who are being criminally investigated.

“That national list conference may also remove the name of a candidate if compelling reasons are presented (for example the list committee was not aware that the integrity committee or its disciplinary committee had ruled against the conduct of a comrade or that a comrade is under investigation for a serious crime),” the report said.

While the removal would require 80% support from delegates, it could pose a risk to the political careers of those implicated.

There will also be no seats reserved for leaders of the SACP, Cosatu and Sanco, which is bound to cause ripples.

“The list process is an ANC process, and all candidates stand as ANC members. Provision will be made for the effective participation of the alliance in the process.

“But there will be no reserved seats for any organisation within or outside the alliance on the lists, as MPs are ultimately accountable to the ANC,” the party said.

This is despite calls by the SACP for alliance partners to have their own list processes, of which the outcomes would be consolidated through a joint process.

The SACP has pointed out in a document seeking to change how the alliance works that subjecting partners to the ANC list processes would disadvantage them.

The SACP’s national spokesperson Alex Mashilo told The Star that the party would move at its upcoming alliance summit in October - which will discuss the reconfiguration demands of the ANC’s allies - to change the criteria.

“The guidelines are the same as they were before, and we followed those guidelines. It’s about the reconfiguration of the alliance.

“What is more important is the alliance’s political council and the alliance summit process,” he said.

Political Bureau

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