Picture: EPA/KEVIN SUTHERLAND
Picture: EPA/KEVIN SUTHERLAND

The Electoral Commission of SA (IEC) has adjudicated objections it received against candidates on party lists ahead of the general elections, upholding only one.

This means that the ANC’s candidates, who have been implicated in allegations of state capture and lying under oath remain on the party’s candidate lists.

The IEC had received objections to cabinet ministers Nomvula Mokonyane, Bathabile Dlamini, Zweli Mkhize, Angie Motshekga and Bheki Cele. Former ministers Malusi Gigaba, Mosebenzi Zwane, Faith Muthambi, Bongani Bongo, Tina Joemat-Pettersson and David Mahlobo were also mentioned.

Despite the IEC not removing  ANC candidates, the party’s National Executive Committee (NEC) has referred its lists to its integrity commission, which could see some people being forced to resign.

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Before the NEC’s decision, the integrity commission had been unable to look into the candidates on the ANC’s lists, as it acted only on referrals by the NEC, the party’s highest decision-making body between conferences.

On Tuesday, the IEC said it received 52 objections affecting 10 political parties. It received 29 objections against representatives of the ANC; four against the DA’s candidates; 13 against the EFF’s; 19 against Black First Land First (BLF); four against the Land Part;y and one each against candidates representing the ACDP, African Independent Congress, African Content Movement, and the Alliance for Transformation for All.

The objection upheld was against the PAC’s candidate Alton Mphethi, a former party president, who was sentenced to 18 months in jail in June 2016. This disqualified him from holding any elected office in the National Assembly or provincial legislature. 

“The commission dismissed all other objections for failing to meet the constitutional and statutory criteria,” the IEC said. “The majority of the objections related to unproven allegations.”

Section 30 of the Electoral Act provides for three grounds on which object to a candidate: the candidate is not qualified to stand; there is no prescribed acceptance of nomination signed; and there is no signed undertaking by the candidate that they are bound to the code of conduct. 

In terms of the constitution, every citizen qualified to vote can stand for election, except someone who was a, “unrehabilitated insolvent”; anyone declared unsound of mind by a court; and anyone convicted of a crime and sentenced to more than a year in prison without the option of a fine. 

The commission has written to the objectors and political parties concerned to inform them about the outcome.

The ANC said it felt vindicated by the IEC's decision to dismiss the objections against its candidates."We have confidence in the integrity and credibility of our list process and internal democratic processes," the party said.

"We hope that the IEC decision will put to rest the vilification campaign that has been unfairly waged against some of the candidates."

quintalg@businesslive.co.za

Updated April 9 2019
Article updated to include ANC comment