The ANC will use “surplus” candidates to shore up its list of MPs and MPLs to Parliament, should its integrity commission ask those implicated in allegations of corruption to step aside.
ANC head of elections Fikile Mbalula was adamant on Monday that the ANC list — littered with candidates implicated in allegations of state capture and corruption — was “not set in stone” and can still be cleaned up, despite the Elections Commission of South Africa (IEC) saying that political parties could no longer tinker with their lists.
A special meeting of the ANC’s national executive committee last week agreed to refer the lists to the party’s integrity commission after the meeting heard that ordinary South Africans had raised the issue of the dodgy additions to the party’s lists with leaders while on the campaign trail.
He admitted that the campaign was negatively impacted by perceptions of corruption within the party.
He said surveys had shown that there were perceptions that the party did not act on corruption.
The party lists are a key factor said to be damaging the party’s prospects in the crucial general election taking place in a months time.
Briefing journalists on the 30-day countdown toward the election, Mbalula admitted that the campaign was not “going our way”. He explained that the ANC has had to campaign after years of declining support and it had to “win back the trust” of the electorate.
“The ANC is determined to act on its lists… that will happen. The integrity commission will make a determination on such… the list is not cast in stone… if it [integrity commission] requires people to step aside, they must step aside,” he said.
“The ANC never deployed anyone to be corrupt, people get corrupt on their own.”
When told by journalists that the IEC is on record saying that political parties cannot amend their submitted lists, Mbalula repeated that the party list is not cast in stone.
“The ANC has more than 200 [names], which is a surplus… if the integrity commission at any point in time concludes that the following people must step aside, that will apply,” he said.
“We have got reserves and those individuals can move up.”
He said the IEC was rightly referring to whether a party could add further names to its list, which it is not permitted to do.
If anyone was unhappy with the integrity commission process, they could appeal to the NEC as well as the party’s disciplinary committee of appeals.
Prominent ANC leaders on the list who have been implicated in allegations of corruption include Nomvula Mokonyane, Bathabile Dlamini, Gwede Mantashe, Malusi Gigaba and Mosebenzi Zwane.
ANC spokesman Dakota Legoete said even those who are subjected to investigations before chapter nine institutions such as the Public Protector, could be asked to step aside. Public enterprise minister Pravin Gordhan is under investigation by the public protector over a pension payout to former SA Revenue Service deputy commissioner Ivan Pillay.