Johannesburg - President Cyril Ramaphosa on Thursday warned that those in the ANC who had engaged in crime and wrongdoing but still made it on to the party’s candidates list to Parliament, were not off the hook.
Ramaphosa was on Thursday campaigning in Soweto, Johannesburg, as part of the ANC’s battle to regain control of Gauteng in the May national and provincial elections.
He said despite the party’s massive losses in the 2016 municipal election - which cost it Johannesburg and Tshwane - the party was on a path of renewal.
Speaking on the sidelines of a “door-to-door” campaign in Orlando East, Ramaphosa said the party’s leadership had, however, no powers to exclude its tainted leaders from the list, because they were chosen by lower structures.
“We are a broad movement. We are a party that does not impose representatives from the top. They were chosen from the bottom by the membership of the organisation, and we must respect the democratic process.”
He said the party was waiting for the criminal justice system to look into the allegations levelled against some leaders - who include Environmental Affairs Minister Nomvula Mokonyane, Minister in the Presidency for Women Bathabile Dlamini and former home affairs minister Malusi Gigaba.
“The membership chose them knowingly, saying we will allow all the processes to unfold and if people are found guilty of criminal conduct or of misbehaviour, they will be dealt with through the criminal justice system.”
Despite the said leaders passing the ANC’s vetting process used to screen leaders who are fit to represent the party, Ramaphosa insisted the party had other plans to ensure it had proper representatives, even though he did not spell them out.
“As to us as an organisation, we obviously want to make sure that we continue to have people who are going to serve the interests of our people, and I say watch this space as we move forward on how that is going to be achieved,” he said.
This was Ramaphosa’s second visit to Johannesburg this week.
In Ekurhuleni, the only metro under the ANC, the party was saved by a coalition deal after it failed to gain a clear majority.
“The ANC lost ground because of some of the missteps of the past. We are going out to our people to say we are renewing ourselves and people are embracing us,” he said.