Mantashe: Election party lists 'like a nuclear bomb'

ANC secretary general Gwede Mantashe. (Oupa Nkosi, M&G)

ANC secretary general Gwede Mantashe. (Oupa Nkosi, M&G)

ANC secretary general Gwede Mantashe has described the process of compiling the list candidates as similar to handling ‘a nuclear time bomb’. 

Mantashe addressed the media on the list process at Luthuli House on Thursday. A group of disgruntled ANC members gathered at the entrance to demand answers regarding some of the changes made on the lists.

Mantashe, who chairs the list committee, said he has been inundated with complaints but the ANC can only deal with them at a later stage.

Some ANC members from Ekurhuleni, Witbank and Sedibeng allege that the candidate lists in those areas have been altered and certain ‘branch favourites’ have been removed and replaced with ‘unknowns’.

“We want to see Gwede Mantashe, he must put back our preferred candidate,” said an ANC member from Witbank.

Mantashe said that most of the complaints are as a result of ‘certain individuals’ who have vowed to use any means necessary to become councillors. “We are experiencing a new tendency where people have been bussed to Luthuli House to come and campaign on behalf of certain individuals,” said Mantashe.

Some ANC members outside Luthuli House threatened to boycott Gauteng’s election manifesto launch on Saturday, where the ANC has vowed to fill the 95 000-seater FNB Stadium.

 “If we don’t get what we want, the ANC will feel the pain after August 3 when they wake up and another party is running the City of Johannesburg,” an ANC member from Zone 2 said.

The ANC secretary general said the party is not going to succumb to threats and pressure tactics to change the list.
He added that some changes had to made to accommodate proportional representation. “In other places, we found that the gender representation had been completely ignored, so we had to make changes and that automatically sends certain people down the list,” said Mantashe.

He added that those who threaten to migrate and campaign as independent candidates are welcome to do so. “From where I’m sitting, if you [come] to me and say I’m going independent because I didn’t make the list, [then] that says to me you were not an honest ANC member to begin with,” said Mantashe.

Mantashe said that the submission of the candidate list to the IEC went smoothly with minor backlogs in the Western Cape and Ekurhuleni.

The ANC members gathered outside Luthuli House vowed to protest until all their grievances are attended to.

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