Motlanthe found the selection process for candidates had been marred by manipulation and actions that warranted disciplinary action
ANC provincial and regional leaders who have been cited for investigation and sanction for their alleged role in the party’s chaotic local government election candidate selection process have vowed to fight to clear their names.
This comes after the ANC national election committee led by party stalwart Kgalema Motlanthe found the selection process for candidates had been marred by manipulation and actions that warranted disciplinary action against some leaders in provinces and regions.
Those implicated in the alleged manipulation include North West ANC provincial interim committee member Hlomane Chauke. He is also accused of misrepresenting the electoral committee by falsely telling lower structures that there would be no more resolution of disputes and rerunning of community meetings.
However, on Monday Chauke disputed the allegations as baseless and said both ANC deputy secretary-general Jessie Duarte and Motlanthe’s committee had not presented the allegations to him.
“I have not been given the report of the committee but from where I am standing all the processes in my province have been done according to the guidelines. I have not manipulated any process. I don’t know about the action that is going to be taken against me but we have conducted the process in terms of the guidelines to the letter. Let those who want to take action respond because I will not,” he said.
The committee’s damning report presented to the ANC national executive committee on Friday spoke strongly against deepened factionalism and manipulation of candidate lists by regional secretaries, some of whom it resolved had to be removed from the selection process.
In Tshwane, the committee recommended that regional secretary Eugene Modise face disciplinary action for the alleged non-compliance with local government election rules and guidelines of the ANC.ADVERTISING
The Tshwane region is among the structures flagged in the report, with 20 of the 60 disputes lodged still unresolved.
Modise told Sowetan on Monday that he would get an opportunity to clear his name at the conclusion of the internal processes of the party.
“I will respond to these allegations when time permits… in terms of the ANC, the organisation comes first. I will have an opportunity to clear all that even though my name is being tarnished,” Modise said.
In Limpopo, Waterberg regional secretary Jacob Moabelo has been accused of replacing nominated candidates with his preferred candidates and of defying verdicts of the provincial list committee.
While Moabelo did not respond to questions, regional spokesperson Matome Taueatsala said he was awaiting the investigation against him.
“He will respond accordingly when the investigation is conducted. There are always disputes and the regional secretary will explain himself and tell his side of the story in good time. He cannot respond before he is being formally told by the ANC about the allegations,” he said.
In the Western Cape, provincial co-ordinator Ronalda Nalumango is accused of impropriety and manipulation of lists. The province has the highest percentage of unresolved disputes related to the selection process of councillor candidates for municipal elections. Nalumango did not respond to Sowetan’s requests for comment.
The Motlanthe committee said of the 2,531 disputes lodged, 774 remain unresolved and that these would be resolved after the elections while investigations against those who manipulated lists were under way.
Some of the disgruntled councillor candidates in the North West who are unhappy with the process said they would stand as independent candidates.
Dirang Mokgapi, who stood as a councillor candidate for Ward 35 in Rustenburg, said he was planning to register as an independent candidate today if the party failed to give him assurances that his name would be put back on the list after it was allegedly removed through manipulation.
“I am not fighting with the ANC but I will stand as an independent candidate if the ANC does not resolve the matter because if I sit back and do nothing I am not going to be able to participate and represent the community even though it nominated me,” Mokgapi said.
Zenzele Xhinela from Ward 35, a candidate whose name was removed despite his endorsement by both his branch and through a community meeting, said the dispute was resolved after he sent Chauke a legal letter threatening to take the party to court.
One disgruntled candidate in Tshwane who lodged disputes against the rigging of selection processes said there was little hope that the investigation would result in the resolution of the list problem.
“These branch and community selection meetings are being hijacked in broad daylight and with the blessing of the regional secretary. If they can’t solve it now I don’t think it will be resolved because there is nothing much that needs investigation,” she said.
In Mpumalanga, acting ANC chairperson Mandla Ndlovu called on members not to call on their communities to vote against the party as community members in Low’s Creek in Mbombela barricaded roads demanding that the ANC remove a councillor candidate they claimed had been imposed on them.
“So if there’s any problem that the dispute resolution committee will find after the elections, such is going to be resolved. However, we don’t expect members of the ANC to organise the community not to vote. As the ANC we know there might be problems but our members know that they will be resolved within the party,” said Ndlovu.