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Awards for politicians - EFF declines invite to new ceremony

By Mothusi Masemola | 2017-01-24 11:07:48.0

The EFF has shunned the upcoming SA Politician Awards (Sapa).

Organiser Veronica Modieleng told Sowetan that the political party was invited but declined to participate.

Founder and businessman Lloyd Ngavu confirmed: "We sent an invitation to all political parties including the EFF. We announce nominees based on their acceptance of the invites, and the EFF unfortunately has [declined], hence the party is not represented.

EFF spokesman Mbuyiseni Ndlozi was not available to comment.

DA spokeswoman Phumzile van Damme said: "It's always nice to be recognised, but the only recognition that we as a party need is from the public, through the service we give them, we are not in politics to win awards."

She said she won't be attending.

ANC's spokesman Zizi Kodwa commented: ". the only honour we want is when people vote for us and show us appreciation. I've seen things like best dressed and best politician, people should never elevate themselves above the party. The party is for the public and not themselves."

Political analyst Dr Somadoda Fikeni said the criteria for the prize and methodology for the nominations would have to be clarified.

"Is it for newsmakers or the best? Or will it be based on the number of votes?" asked Fikeni, who has been nominated for the political analyst of the year award.

He warned that the independence of assessors or judges could easily be discredited if questions were not clarified.

"In our political environment, the award for the best politician is prone to being challenged," Fikeni said.

The awards, scheduled for February 8 in Cape Town, are aimed at honouring politicians in categories such as best dressed male political figure, best dressed female political figure, best parliamentarian of the year, debater of the year, and woman in politics award.

A nod will also be given for the techno-savvy politicians on social media in the e-politician of the year award. Premiers, executive mayors, ministers and political analysts are also up for awards.

Ngavu said the awards would also honour public servants who go the extra mile to ensure service delivery. "Politicians are also people, you also find young people looking up to them, so they should appeal to the youth as well," he said.

Some of the best dressed nominees are Fikile Mbalula, Mduduzi Manana, Malusi Gigaba, Lindiwe Sisulu, Thandi Modise and Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams.

Winnie Madikizela-Mandela will receive an honorary award called the lifetime achievement award for her "stellar, tireless work in politics".

"It may seem extravagant to host these events as opposed to developing our communities, but we are planning to donate the proceeds of this event to charity or perhaps adopting a school.

"[But] this will happen when the Sapas are more matured and hopefully making a profit," said Ngavu.

"We do not have sponsors as we are currently starting out, except for a gift bags sponsored by L'Oreal.

"The winning MPs will receive a certificate and a trophy."- additional reporting by Loyiso Sidimba