Getrude Makhafola

Getrude Makhafola

Popular ANC veteran Winnie Madikizela-Mandela got the all clear to fight the elections.

The mother of the nation was reported to be ready to fly her party's flag high and she would be hitting the election campaign trail in Gauteng this week.

The Independent Electoral Commission has cleared the inclusion of her name on the ANC candidate list.

She sits at number five in the national list, despite objections by individuals and the Freedom Front Plus who say her criminal record should rule her out.

Yesterday the IEC ruled in her favour and said she could not be disqualified from standing as a candidate in the April 22 elections.

Sources said yesterday that Madikizela-Mandela would be part of the election campaign trail as early as this week.

"She will be joining Gauteng premier Paul Mashatile on the campaigns and visit squatter camps and other places," a source said.

Gauteng ANC spokesperson Nkenke Kekana confirmed this and said the former president of the ANC Women's League was "going nowhere".

"We expect her to campaign in Gauteng and even nationally if needed.

"We are optimistic that she will successfully do this and whichever way, she will never be removed from the list," he said.

Madikizela-Mandela had a five-year sentence for fraud and theft reduced on appeal to three-and-a-half years.

This was for 43 convictions for fraud in July 2004.

The sentence was suspended for five years.

According to the IEC, there were 41 objections which were received from individuals, candidates themselves and, or political parties.

Every person who laid an objection would be informed in writing about the IEC's decision.

The ANC argued that because Madikizela-Mandela never actually went to jail, the constitutional provision does not disqualify her from returning to Parliament.