‘No state capture accused has been let off the hook’: Mbalula on ANC candidates list

Sisanda Mbolekwa Politics reporter
ANC secretary-general Fikile Mbalula says 'only the most qualified individuals were considered for candidacy'. File photo.
ANC secretary-general Fikile Mbalula says 'only the most qualified individuals were considered for candidacy'. File photo.
Image: Lubabalo Lesolle/Gallo Images

The ANC defended its election candidate list selection process as rigorous, saying no one has been “let off the hook”.

The party believes its process has been scrutinised and handled with transparency and it has placed its best foot forward.

“We have implemented strict criteria to ensure the integrity and credibility of our candidates,” said ANC secretary-general Fikile Mbalula. 

“It is important candidates do not have any pending court cases or disciplinary hearings. This allows them to fully focus on their responsibilities without distractions or legal complications.”

The party also barred those recommended for suspension by the national executive committee (NEC) after being hauled before the integrity commission.

“These rules ensured that only the most qualified individuals were considered for candidacy, according to strict criteria.”

The party required candidates to meet requirements such as possessing a post-matric qualification, completing leadership modules at the Oliver Tambo school of leadership, ANC membership in good standing, commitment to the movement and having no criminal record.

Mbalula denied his party list was littered with individuals who have adverse findings and have decisions taken against them that the NEC has decided to ignore. 

“The rules say no one will be eligible to stand if they have gone to the integrity commission and have got adverse findings confirmed by the NEC.

“With members of the ANC who are on the list, their cases have not been confirmed by the NEC and it is due to process cases which come from the integrity commission that affect individuals.”

He urged the public to reject the notion that the party was ignoring the state capture inquiry report's recommendations.

“We signed and supported the Zondo commission. We supported that our members implicated in their individual right must appear at the commission. [Inquiry chair Raymond] Zondo has made specific recommendations concerning individuals, referring them for investigation.

“We had people with a criminal record who were taken off the list. Those [affected by the] 'step aside' policy were not allowed on the list. We are not hiding technically behind rules. If people are arrested, the ANC will act on that.”

The SG maintained compromised candidates on the list will be reassessed if the NEC endorses the findings of the integrity commission.

“Your standing as a public representative will be relooked if you are elected.

“If you decide individually to step aside, guided by your conscience, that's an individual case. But there is no basis to remove anybody from the list as far as the rules of the party are concerned.”

Mbalula took  a swipe at the newly formed MK Party's list which sees the father/daughter duo of former president Jacob Zuma and Duduzile Zuma topping its parliament list.

Their candidate list was leaked alongside the ANC's list on Friday.

“Unlike that family affair, ours is not a boardroom list. We understand for some political parties it is very easy. They sit in a house, draft a list with the family and produce a list for the elections. Others sit in a boardroom and decide as a political party.

“Ours is very tough. We are contesting everywhere in the country, we address everything - demographics, traditional leadership, people with disabilities, the national question - all these issues must be reflected. Our list has 53% women and 40% young people. It is a very diverse list we have presented.

“Issues of integrity cannot be taken mildly. We don't take questions about the contents of the list as a menace or irritation. It is important because we have committed ourselves to accountability”.

“We guarded the list until we sent it to the Electoral Commission of South Africa (IEC). An hour after we submitted it, it was leaked. We are concerned about the IEC leakage, but we are confident the electoral body can deal with any anarchy that may arise, like the leakage.”


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