ANC secretary-general Ace Magashule. PICTURE: ESA ALEXANDER/SUNDAY TIMES
ANC secretary-general Ace Magashule. PICTURE: ESA ALEXANDER/SUNDAY TIMES

The ANC’s national executive committee (NEC) has referred its candidate lists for the upcoming elections to its integrity commission for review, the party's secretary-general, Ace Magashule, said on Tuesday.

Until the decision was made by the NEC at a special meeting on Monday, the integrity commission had been unable to look into the candidates on the ANC’s lists, as it worked according to a referral by the party's highest decision-making body between conferences.

The ANC has come under heavy criticism over its national list, which includes controversial politicians such as Bathabile Dlamini, Malusi Gigaba, Mosebenzi Zwane and Nomvula Mokonyane, who have been implicated in allegations of state capture or been found to have lied under oath.

In terms of the criteria for objections to the Electoral Commission of SA (IEC), these candidates do still qualify to be public representatives.

The decision also comes as the window period for lodging objections about candidates with the IEC closes on Tuesday.

In a statement on Tuesday, Magashule defended the processes the ANC went through to compile the lists for the National Assembly, the National Council of Provinces, and the provincial legislatures.

He said the ANC, in addition to the legal requirements for candidates set out by the constitution and the Electoral Act  “set an even higher bar, removing all candidates with criminal records [not just for five years, but longer[ and subjected all its candidates to a vetting process”.

He said as a further measure in dealing with the lists, the NEC has “referred its lists in their totality to its integrity commission for review, within the ambit of the list guidelines, the rules of natural justice and the 54th conference resolutions”.

"We again remind all candidates that representing the people of SA and the ANC is an honour, and not a right," Magashule said.