Jessie Duarte. Picture: BUSINESS DAY/FREDDY MAVUNDA
Jessie Duarte. Picture: BUSINESS DAY/FREDDY MAVUNDA

The ANC has submitted the names of 4,468 ward candidates and 257 municipal candidates to the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) to contest local government elections on November 1, ending a tumultuous few weeks for the ruling party.

The ANC missed the IEC’s initial deadline in August to submit the names of candidates for numerous wards, jeopardising its ability to remain in charge of most of the country’s municipalities.

However, it was handed a lifeline when the IEC extended the deadline to September 21, a move that prompted accusations of favouritism by opposition parties. The extension has since been endorsed by the Constitutional Court.

The ANC’s list isn’t final, though. The IEC will by September 24 notify parties and independents of candidates who may appear on multiple lists, and these duplications must be revised by September 25 ahead of the publication of the final list on September 29.

Drafting of the ANC’s list was marred by disputes, allegations of vote rigging, manipulations and violence in the selection process at branch level.  

The party introduced an additional layer to the selection process, requiring that candidates be supported by the communities they wish to represent. Previously, branches nominated their preferred candidates and these names would then be collated by the national office and submitted to the IEC.

ANC deputy secretary-general Jessie Duarte told a media briefing on Wednesday that any candidates facing serious criminal charges had been removed from the list.

“If the exception is a serious matter then we talk to the provincial list committee and also to the elections committee led by Kgalema Motlanthe [and] if that person has to be removed then we have to provide the number two on the list as the alternative to that person,” Duarte said.

People who were found to have manipulated the candidate selection process to “subvert and undermine ANC rules and guidelines” will be attended to in line with the party’s disciplinary processes, Duarte said.

“The overwhelming positive lesson was that when given an opportunity to participate, communities have responded. We will however take action in the few instances where internal processes were not complied with, and the Motlanthe Electoral Committee will after elections further investigate and make recommendations on corrective measures,” she said.

While the DA has revealed its mayoral candidates for the country’s main metros including Tshwane and Johannesburg, the ANC has kept its cards close to its chest. No ANC member on the councillor list can confidently say that they are a mayoral candidate, Duarte said.

Mayoral candidates would undergo a rigorous vetting and interview process to ensure that the best candidates are selected, she added.

maekot@businesslive.co.za

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