ANC not yet ready to release names of mayoral candidates

ANC secretary general Gwede Mantashe said the party would only release the names of mayoral candidates during the next national executive committee meeting. (Oupa Nkosi, M&G))

ANC secretary general Gwede Mantashe said the party would only release the names of mayoral candidates during the next national executive committee meeting. (Oupa Nkosi, M&G))

The ANC says it’s not ready as yet to release the names of its mayoral candidates who will serve as the face of the organisation for its campaign for the local government elections on August 3. ANC secretary general Gwede Mantashe said the party would only release the names of mayoral candidates during the next national executive committee meeting. For now, its main focus was to conclude the process of vetting its proposed ward councillors.

The party concluded its national list conference at the weekend, where it finalised outstanding appeals against the process of nominating ward councillors. This was marred by objections from several provinces including the Northern Cape, whose members staged a protest outside the national list conference venue in Centurion at the weekend.

About 20 ANC members claimed that party members aligned to Northern Cape regional and provincial leaders were being imposed on the community. Mantashe said these claims would be fully investigated, but lamented the “sensationalising of the issue” through demonstrations outside the conference.

Nomination of ward councillor candidates has been marred by violent disruptions in KwaZulu-Natal where the ANC’s alliance partner the SA Communist Party labelled the process “corrupt” and a “farce.”

Mantashe said the list conference would only deal with local councillor lists, and mayors would be discussed at the next meeting. “There will be another NEC that will deal with that. What we are finalising this weekend is the list of council candidates of the African National Congress. We will follow that with selecting mayors, which is a different process,” he said.

The selection of mayoral candidates is also expected to be hotly contested, with the incumbents in eThekwini, Ekurhuleni and the city of Tshwane unlikely to return to office. Last Friday, the Mail & Guardian reported that the candidates for these three cities have fallen out of favour with their constituencies in the party.

Regional chairperson in Tshwane, and mayor of the city, Kgosientso Ramakgopa, appears second on the list after his deputy Mapiti Matsena was excluded from the names that will be handed to the Gauteng provincial executive committee, which include Karin Littler and Susan Ngobeni. In Ekurhuleni, incumbent Mondli Gungubele’s name appears at number 11 on the list. The city’s regional chairperson Mzwandile Masina looks set to take over at the helm of the city, as his name appears first.

In eThekwini, former regional chairperson James Nxumalo looks set to be replaced after losing his position ANC regional chairman to Zandile Gumede.

Meanwhile, the ANC national executive committee meeting, which started on Saturday, was expected to discuss recommendations by a team of ANC leaders after its consultation with ANC branches on the Constitutional Court judgement which found found that president Jacob Zuma failed to uphold the Constitution when he failed to comply with the public protector’s remedial action to pay back a portion of money used for security upgrades at his rural homestead in Nkandla.

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