South Africa: Revealed - At Least 20 Percent of Party Leaders Have a Shady Past

Photo: ANC
Inside Parliament (file photo).

One in five of the leaders of the political parties registered to contest the 2019 elections nationally has a chequered past: Criminal charges or court orders brought against them, professional sanctions, or compelling evidence of wrongdoing for which they have yet to be prosecuted. Yet, in terms of the Constitution, all are eligible for election to the National Assembly.

At least 20% of the leaders of the 48 political parties registered to contest the 2019 general elections on a national level have previously faced accusations of significant wrongdoing.

That is the finding of a Daily Maverick investigation after the IEC published the final list of political parties which will appear on the national ballot sheet in May 2019.

We have excluded untested allegations of wrongdoing which can be explained by internal political disputes -- such as claims that the leaders of the African Transformation Movement (ATM), including Jimmy Manyi, are using the party as a front for money laundering.

This is, admittedly, a complicated area. The leader of the PAC, Narius Moloto -- who is also the general secretary of Nactu, the National Council of Trade Unions -- refused demands to step down from Nactu in 2018 amid accusations of...

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