ANC leaders who were previously sacked from Cabinet positions but have made it back on to the party’s parliamentary list — after nominations by their provinces — will still be vetted for “integrity” by the party’s national executive committee (NEC).
ANC elections head Fikile Mbalula said on Thursday that the list consolidated by the party’s list conference in Durban on Friday would be further subjected to “Operation Veritas” to ensure that all those who made the final list did not have a negative impact on its integrity.
Mbalula sought to emphasise that the current list had not been finalised, saying it was not “cast in stone” that leaders axed for corruption or who were facing criminal charges would remain on the final list. The draft list would still be “adjusted” by the NEC to ensure a balance of age, skills and gender, as well as “suitability”.
The ANC’s list conference will consolidate the lists of candidates for the National Assembly, the National Council of Provinces and provincial legislatures generated by the provinces. The new Cabinet to be appointed by President Cyril Ramaphosa after the May election will be drawn from the top section of the National Assembly list.
The draft National Assembly list, which the Mail & Guardian has seen, is topped by Ramaphosa, followed by deputy president David Mabuza, and national chairperson Gwede Mantashe at number three.
Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, who lost her bid for the presidency last December, is placed at seven, behind treasurer Paul Mashatile (six), deputy secretary general Jessie Duarte (five) and secretary general Ace Magashule (four).
Former president Jacob Zuma is number 74, and disgraced former home affairs minister Malusi Gigaba is 26th. Bathabile Dlamini, the minister of women in the presidency, is 17th, one place behind Senzo Mchunu, ANC head of organising.
Sacked ministers Faith Muthambi and Mosebenzi Zwane, along with former North West Premier Supra Mahumapelo, all of whom are implicated in allegations related to state capture, also made the cut for parliamentary seats, according to the draft list, as did former KwaZulu-Natal economic development MEC Mike Mabuyakhulu, who is currently out on bail on corruption charges.
Mbalula said the ANC did face “challenges” in some provinces regarding the list process and was also facing legal action from some individuals in provinces, who were challenging the outcome of the conferences ahead of the list process.
He said the ANC’s internal democracy process allowed “everybody” to be nominated by the branches, but that names would be culled by the party’s vetting processes.
“It is not a given that a person who made the draft list would necessarily be found on the final list,” he said.
Acting ANC spokesperson Dakota Legoete said the party’s appeal structures were dealing with branches from North West, where the list conference was again cancelled this week. The North West branches’ list would be submitted to the list conference, along with the final decision about whether or not to include it.
Mbalula said the ANC’s preparations for its manifesto launch in Durban on January 12 and its rallies in the province were well under way.
He said the ANC would hold “decentralised” January 8 rallies in all 11 ANC regions in KwaZulu-Natal, and Ramaphosa would deliver the message, an ANC tradition since its formation 107 years ago, at the Ohlange Institute in Inanda, north of Durban.
Ramaphosa had been billed to address supporters in the troubled Moses Mabhida region at the Harry Gwala Stadium in Pietermaritzburg. But concerns that Zuma supporters would boo him resulted in Ramaphosa’s address being moved to the eThekwini region, according to sources in both the Zuma- and Ramaphosa-supporting camps.
The Moses Mabhida leadership has been suspended and replaced by a regional task team, but Zuma supporters have boycotted it and staged protests at Luthuli House and at the ANC provincial and regional offices.
They have also threatened not to campaign for the ANC and to disrupt party activities sould their grievances continue to be ignored.
But Mbalula said the rally had been shifted to Durban because of a clash with a football match at Harry Gwala. He also said Ramaphosa would go to the Moses Mabhida region with Magashule.
Zuma and former presidents Kgalema Motlanthe and Thabo Mbeki had been invited to participate in the January 8 celebrations and other ANC events leading up to the elections.
“Everybody is invited. All the former presidents have been invited. We will appreciate it that, on occasions like this one, they should actually attend,” Mbalula said.
There was “no worry” that the events would be disrupted, he said.