- Magashule dismisses opposition outcry
- ANC calls for respect of rule of law
- FS throws weight behind SG comments
- Dlamini says her inclusion a manifestation of the will of the people…
The Free State ANC provincial leadership has thrown its weight behind the announced national list of candidates to represent the party after the crunch May 8 general elections.
ANC provincial spokesman Thabo Meeko said the Free State is excited about the national list handed to the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) by party secretary general Ace Magashule on Wednesday.
Meeko emphasised that the ANC National Executive Committee (NEC) was the highest unit of responsibility and the province would not want to be seen to be contradicting its head office.
“The only thing we can say is that in our province we completed the work of selecting representatives for the national assembly smoothly and without incident,” said Meeko.
He noted the list submitted from the Free State is aimed at genuinely unifying the ANC as agreed upon at the party’s 54th national conference in Gauteng.
“The province worked hard to compile a list of credible men and women who are willing to advance the agenda of the party in creating a better life for all deployed to provincial and national government.”
The spokesperson added: “We ensured that these are the people who are also willing to push our agenda for radical socio- economic transformation of our society.”
The ANC has moved swiftly to close rank around its members who are being chastised by both media and opposition political parties after making it onto the national list.
Party heavyweights Nomvula Mokonyane, Malusi Gigaba, Mosebenzi Zwane and Bathabile Dlamini were all under siege from opposition political parties who blamed them for among others, a controversial and private sex tape that led to Gigaba to resign as finance minister, as well as the Bosasa debacle wherein untested claims were made against Mokonyane.
On the other hand Dlamini faced the fury of opposition ridicule over the handling of the social grant tender amid her claims that the department struggled to find a capacitated company to do the work.
The grants were eventually handed over to the SA Post Office to disburse.
Zwane, meanwhile, has been on the firing line of opposition parties for his apparent role in the Vrede Diary Project during his tenure as the MEC for agriculture in the Free State some years ago.
However party secretary general Magashule poured cold water on the media cries over the inclusion of the four in the list of public representatives for the ANC.
Shortly after submitting the ANC’s list to the IEC, Magashule did not mince words in coming out in defence of the four, arguing that none of them was facing any criminal charges nor being taken to court for any wrongdoing.
The veteran politician said the ANC applied the universal rule of not guilty until proven otherwise, in determining the final list of candidates set for the national assembly.
Furthermore, the party’s highest decision making body, the NEC, based their decision to allow the four to be on the list after going through what the law of the land recommends under the circumstances.
Magashule explained that any candidate that has not been found guilty of any crime after going through the courts or those found guilty and not sentenced to a period exceeding 12 months, would be allowed to be on the list of representatives for the ANC in the national assembly.
“In compiling the final list we looked at what the law of the country says. You are talking here about people who have never been charged of any crime. Why don’t you respect the universal law of innocent until proven guilty, which is an international practice?” he quizzed.
The secretary general also asked why Nomvula is being singled out for attack by the media even though she is not the only ANC leader being tainted with allegations of corruption through the same media.
He accused the media of double standards in treating politicians differently, citing the Glynnis Breytenbauch court case in 2016 wherein the DA MP was taken through court and released on R10 000 bail for allegedly tampering with evidence and defeating the end of justice by destroying computer evidence linked to a case being investigated against her.
The media never raised an ire as to why she remained a DA member of parliament, Magashule said.
Meanwhile minister of women in the Presidency, Dlamini said her inclusion on the list of ANC representatives is the will of the people.
“We are elected by the people, and what you see on the list is a manifestation of their will,” she noted.
The complete list of candidates for the ANC will be made public once the IEC has done ratifying it.