ANC treasurer-general Paul Mashatile says that the party’s failure to register local government election candidates in 93 municipalities across the country was not due to the financial troubles currently plaguing the party.
Mashatile was speaking during a television interview earlier on Friday, ahead of the virtual meeting of the national executive committee (NEC) to discuss financial and administrative matters affecting the party.
“The problem was not money. When the ANC was ready to register candidates I ensured that the ANC had the money to do so, so that’s not a problem. The problem is that the ANC’s way of choosing candidates is a very tedious one, very long, starting with BGMs.
“Between June and August, we have had two lockdowns which prohibited BGMs, remember that a branch of the ANC has a minimum of 100 members, so when there is a lockdown and 50 people have to meet it’s not a quorum, so they wait,” Mashatile said.
He said that those managing the selection process had their hands full in process and register the names of 10 000 councillors and that putting them online with the IEC also had its own challenges, including system failure which would lead to names being lost.
“There were all sorts of issues that were really unavoidable and that’s why the ANC was saying to the IEC ‘look can’t you give us another chance to process this because it’s not only our fault’, but of course they didn’t agree to that.”
He also dispelled rumours that the party’s staff, by going on strike in July and last month, had deliberately sabotaged the party.
He added that the party may need to relook how it selects candidates because even if they had a year to select and process candidates, they could sometimes struggle.
“That would be a setback for us if the elections go ahead, we have no way of fixing the problem. We’ll just have to accept that we are going to live with a situation where we absolutely have no candidate in a particular area so let’s hope that the Concourt will say Judge (Dikgang) Moseneke is right,” Mashatile said.
Meanwhile, the Constitutional Court on Friday dismissed the Independent Electoral Commission’s application to postpone the local government elections to next year.