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Local government elections: What the ANC stood to lose after candidate councillor mess

Picture: Werner Beukes/SAPA/African News Agency (ANA) Archives

Picture: Werner Beukes/SAPA/African News Agency (ANA) Archives

Published Sep 8, 2021


Johannesburg - Hundreds of ANC candidates would have missed out on standing for the upcoming local government elections, had the party been disallowed from re-registering councillor candidates.

ANC deputy secretary-general Jessie Duarte on Tuesday said there were 359 candidate councillors that the governing party failed to register in the North West, Limpopo and Gauteng.

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”We will live with whatever comes up,” she said.

Duarte blamed party officials who procrastinated, and were too late to meet the August 23 deadline set by the Electoral Commission of SA (IEC) for the submission of candidate councillors.

She said there would be no forgiveness for those found to have bungled the process.

According to Duarte, the failure to register candidate councillors affected around 35 municipalities, where people’s registrations were not accepted.

”It’s not the IEC’s fault,” she explained, adding that it was a difficult arrangement for the ANC and that its was not a glitch.

She said the reason the ANC withdrew its Electoral Court challenge to the closure of the registration of candidates, was after the organisation sat down and went through the its lists minutely.

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Duarte admitted that the ANC made a mistake in its input to the IEC and that, in one instance, it was definitely late.

She warned that the ANC cannot be lackadaisical in its preparations for the local government elections.

Duarte said the ANC had put its argument before the IEC’s national political liaison committee, and that six other political parties agreed with it.

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She maintained that all disputes, relating to the candidate nomination process, have to be finalised.

Duarte maintained that the ANC was not in control of the dispute resolution process, as it is headed by former president Kgalema Motlanthe.

Motlanthe was also scheduled to deal with the disputes yesterday, according to Duarte.

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The ANC, according to Duarte, was dealing mostly with minor disagreements.

”Some of the disputes are not disputes, they are complaints,” she said, adding that, in some cases, the contention was over who was more popular in the community.

Duarte said community participation in the ANC’s candidate selection process was non-negotiable.

Duarte warned against writing off the ANC due to its money woes.

”Don’t write us off just because we don’t have money,” she pleaded.

The ANC has not paid its employees since July.

Duarte said the party was meeting with the staff liaison committee, but admitted that the situation was difficult.

”We are not going to tell staff not to go on strike, but it is their right,” she explained.

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Political Bureau