The furore surrounding the ANC’s candidates list took another turn with the party’s elders demanding that controversial figures on the list be removed.
They convened a media briefing at Liliesleaf Farm on Wednesday in Rivonia to express their displeasure about the ANC’s list that was submitted to the electoral commission by secretary-general Ace Magashule.
Some of the discredited ANC senior leaders who are high enough on the list to make it back to Parliament include Environmental Affairs Minister Nomvula Mokonyane, who has been implicated in multiple graft allegations, and Minister of Women in the Presidency Bathabile Dlamini, who has a damning judgment against her for misleading the Constitutional Court and possible perjury charges coming her way.
Nomvula Mokonyane. Picture: Dan Xangaza
Also high on the list are former home affairs minister Malusi Gigaba, who was also at the centre of the state capture project and also has a harsh court judgment against him, and former mineral resources minister Mosebenzi Zwane, who was a key enabler of the Gupta family’s cause.
Transnet board chairperson and former North West premier Popo Molefe said the fact that the public believed that they had been involved in transgressions was sufficient for them to stand aside.
“You are accused of certain acts. The issue is things that are said about you that implicate [you] have reaching implications for the integrity of the ANC and a Parliament that must serve our people. For as long as you are there with this dark cloud around you it impacts on the integrity and public confidence of the ANC and you therefore have to voluntarily offer to the ANC to step aside,” Molefe said.
He said the election list should not be blamed on ANC membership.
“As leaders we should take responsibly to guide our ordinary membership and not vulgarise democracy. We are led by principles, values and ethical standards.”
Former ANC deputy secretary-general Cheryl Carolus said it wasn’t a secret that there was competition in the ANC about how this matter should be dealt with.
“There are some people who are never 100% comfortable with us speaking publicly on this matter. We think as elders we have come a long way in this movement. It is our responsibility to do that and it is an ongoing project.”
As you are there with this dark cloud around you it impacts on the integrity and public confidence of the ANC and you therefore have to voluntarily offer to the ANC to step aside
Carolus said they would not wait for the courts to be the custodian of the ANC’s values.
“I want to speak very directly to every single ANC member, supporter and former voter to know that the battle for the cleansing of the ANC has begun. It is decisively on its way. We are appealing to every ANC [member] and supporter to continue to raise their voices against corruption. We cannot wait for the courts to in fact be the custodian of our values. We will not keep quiet.”
The ANC had previously rallied behind its members who were implicated in allegations of corruption, saying they had not been found guilty by a court of law.
Former South African National Parks head Mavuso Msimang pleaded with ANC supporters to understand that the war against corruption was not over.
“There is a keen awareness within the organisation that we should support the values of the ANC. People who have been implicated should not be on the list. We applauded publicly the actions that have been taken by Limpopo. We wish at the national executive committee level it has been possible for them to do what KwaZulu-Natal did. I think conversations are going on.”
The ANC in Limpopo has asked its leaders implicated in the VBS Mutual Bank scandal to step aside. On Tuesday, the ANC in KwaZulu-Natal resolved that party members facing criminal charges must step aside.
This followed the provisional withdrawal of murder charges in the Umzimkhulu Magistrates’ Court on Monday against Harry Gwala District Municipality mayor Mluleki Ndobe. He was arrested for the assasination of former ANC Youth League secretary Sindiso Magaqa in May 2016.