ANC supporters. Picture: REUTERS
ANC supporters. Picture: REUTERS

The ANC’s integrity commission, the body set up to investigate tainted members, still does not have the teeth to do its job.

The party’s head of elections, Fikile Mbalula, on Tuesday said the commission’s terms of reference were still being finalised, which meant it could not act on its own. The commission at this stage can only deal with matters referred to it by the national executive committee (NEC).

Mbalula said until the terms of reference were finalised any decisions taken by the commission on matters not referred to it by the leaders would be open to litigation. 

This comes as the ANC early in February submitted its list of candidates for the national and provincial elections to the Electoral Commission of SA (IEC). The list included controversial politicians and those who have been implicated in state capture, such as Bathabile Dlamini, Malusi Gigaba, Mosebenzi Zwane and Nomvula Mokonyane.

It was reported at the time that some people were asked to consider not accepting their nominations. However, ANC secretary-general Ace Magashule said no-one was unwilling to step down, but responded with “treat us like South Africans. We are all equal”.

The ANC has said that anyone not found guilty by a court of law would remain on the list.

Political party lists would be released on Friday for inspection. Anyone with objections to any candidates on the lists would have until April 2 to lodge objections.

Despite the party saying one of its guidelines for its candidates was enhancing the integrity of the ANC, the party’s integrity commission was not asked to deal with any matters pertaining to the lists.

The head of the ANC’s integrity commission, George Mashamba, said the lists were not handed to the body for vetting before it was submitted to the IEC. “The integrity commission has not been part of the process,” he said, adding that the leadership had not approached the commission.

The ANC continues to show that it does not take its integrity commission seriously, as it continues to refrain from giving it the teeth it needs.

The commission was set up after the party’s 2012 Mangaung conference. After that, the NEC, the highest decision-making body outside of a national conference, resolved that the commission be given more teeth and that its findings be binding. The ANC, however, did nothing and ignored most findings of the integrity commission, especially those relating to president Jacob Zuma.

At the 2017 Nasrec conference, the matter of the integrity commission was raised once again. In its resolutions from the conference, the ANC said it would consider whether the commission’s decisions should be binding or whether it should make recommendations to the NEC, making it more of an advisory body.

In July 2018, a new integrity commission was appointed by the ANC. Since its appointment it has dealt with Limpopo leaders involved in the VBS Mutual Bank saga, and recommended that all officials involved step aside.

quintalg@businesslive.co.za