"In 2019, more than 10-million people voted for the ANC but in 2021 five million voted for the ANC. This shows people's votes aren't endless and if corruption is not dealt with harshly, it will have an undesirable consequences for the ANC. People want corruption out now and not later," he said.
According to the IEC's election dashboard, during the 2016 local government elections, the ANC received 16.09-million votes, and fast-forward to 2021, this figure dropped substantially and landed at 10.69-million votes. During the 2019 general elections, the ANC generated 10.02-million votes nationally.
Msimang said the situation in Mpumalanga and KwaZulu-Natal was indicative of a very serious crisis in ANC. "The ANC step-aside is very clear. If someone has been charged then they must step aside.
"One would hope the leadership of the ANC puts its foot down. This rule is not ambiguous. If facing charges, then you should not make yourself available for any position," he said.
Asked about the calibre of the branches who voted in individuals facing criminal charges, Msimang said that was a reflection of factions taking place within the ANC.
Msimang said members voting for criminally charged individuals expected something in return for their votes. "The person who presents themselves [for position] do not respect the ANC or its image. If they did, they would step-aside and wait to be cleared. It is motivated by self-interest. The ANC is a money-making opportunity for some.
"This is a terrible time for ANC when it’s a time to go to conference. If it is taking up the fight against corruption, it should not be lenient on things breaking the law. This matter should be referred to the NEC but it should've been clear that those criminally charged cannot contest," he said.
Political analyst Pro Mcebisi Ndletyana said members of the ANC we deliberately distorting the step-aside rules.
He added there was reluctance from national leaders to directly condemn those standing for positions despite pending court cases due to the support base.
Gumede’s win in eThekwini is expected to boost former health minister Zweli Mkhize’s ambitions in the race for the party’s number one position in December.
In Mpumalanga, Msibi's chairperson, Mandla Ndlovu, publicly endorsed President Cyril Ramaphosa to serve for a second term.
Ndletyana said NEC members had direct interest in the provincial and regional conference outcomes. "They are cognisant of their influence in the ANC and don’t want to alienate them completely.
"There is double-handedness here because these are typical power brokers and regional leaders. National leaders rely on these guys to rally troupes behind them," he said.
Addressing the branch members voting in leaders facing charges, Ndletyana added that branches and delegates were benefactors of patronage. "It’s a whole network of beneficiaries, including branch members. Branch members are maintained by being given jobs.
"These members don’t give a damn. They support people who take care of them. This is what ANC members have become.
"These are individuals working against the interest of the ANC. These are who you call counter revolutionaries," Ndletyana said.