On Monday, the SACP endorsed the latest call by veteran ANC members - known as “elders” in party circles - for tainted leaders to withdraw their names from the list of candidates for the May 8 elections.
SACP first deputy secretary Solly Mapaila said the elders’ call was in line with the resolution of the ANC’s 54th national congress resolution, which asked all those implicated in corrupt acts not to stand for leadership positions.
“The ANC took a resolution on the matter. It is a principle and the ANC must ensure that its resolutions are implemented. The SACP unflinchingly supports the call,” Mapaila said.
His comments come after elders, who include Sheila Sisulu, Professor Mary Metcalfe and Murphy Morobe, appealed in their letter to the implicated leaders, saying withdrawing their candidature would be in the interest of those who continue to vote for the ANC.
“Our strong belief is that candidates on the ANC list should be above ethical reproach, for that is what South Africans expect of the party that played a pivotal role in ushering in democracy in South Africa,” the letter reads.
The elders did not single out any names, but said the country heard through the Gupta Leaks how members of the Gupta family befriended certain ANC leaders to obtain lucrative government tenders in state-owned entities such as Eskom, Denel and Transnet.
They also praised President Cyril Ramaphosa for his decision to set up various commissions to probe corruption.
“It is against this background that we, long-serving members of the ANC, request comrades who have been implicated in corruption reported in the commissions of inquiry and elsewhere, or who were during the past five years adjudged to have behaved unethically by, for instance, lying under oath, to reconsider their present nomination for Parliament or the provincial legislatures.
“By withdrawing their names from the electoral list they will be saying to the public at large that although perception is not always reality, they would rather await the opportunity to have their names cleared than serve under a cloud of suspicion.”
Controversial leaders who made the cut include Environmental Affairs Minister Nomvula Mokonyane, who is facing allegations of receiving a bribe from controversial facilities management company Bosasa, while the Constitutional Court has ruled that the National Prosecuting Authority should determine if the Minister for Women, Bathabile Dlamini, should be charged with perjury in connection with Sassa matters. Both, together with ANC leaders including Mosebenzi Zwane and Malusi Gigaba, are high on the ANC list.
The ANC has been at pains to explain the inclusion of the accused leaders.
Speaking on the sidelines of a “door-to-door” campaign in Orlando East, Soweto, last week, Ramaphosa said the governing party’s leadership had no powers to exclude its tainted leaders from the list, as they were chosen by the lower structures.
ANC spokesperson Dakota Legoete could not be reached for comment.