17 February 2019

South Africa: Thirty-Two ANC Members Fail Party Vetting Process for Election Lists - Report

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Thirty-two senior ANC members, previously nominated by the party to be sent to Parliament and the provincial legislatures, have failed a vetting test, the Sunday Times reported.

These people will now have to account to the party's integrity committee. They were "red-flagged" by the ANC's top six, including President Cyril Ramaphosa, sources told the Sunday paper.

The ANC's national executive committee will reportedly hold a special meeting on Sunday to discuss the 32 people on the list. Their identities have not been revealed, although sources reportedly said many are "the usual suspects", including people implicated in state capture.

The ANC finalised its list of about 200 members that would be sent to Parliament early in January, News24 reported. They were selected out of about 800 names that had been nominated by the ANC rank and file. But the party would not release their names, and said the vetting process still had to take place.

According to Business Day, the list finalisation was postponed due to factional battles in the party. Forces loyal to former president Jacob Zuma reportedly wanted to "steal" the lists so that Ramaphosa would have to choose from Zuma's old allies when appointing his cabinet. The North West was also unable to complete its list conference last year because of infighting.

By January 15, the national list committee started vetting the candidates, News24 reported at the time. The committee was headed by ANC secretary general Ace Magashule. Some of the names nominated to go to Parliament included former president Jacob Zuma, former North West chairperson Supra Mahumapelo and Magashule, although the ANC did not confirm this on the record.

ANC acting spokesperson Zizi Kodwa said at the time that 20% of the names on the list had to be young people, and the lists needed to have 50/50 gender representation.

According to the Sunday Times, the ANC introduced a strict screening process for its candidates for the 2019 national election lists in an effort to clean up its image.

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