ANC does not appoint criminals – Jessie Duarte

2013-05-09 16:43

The notion that the ANC appoints criminals to positions is wrong, the party’s deputy secretary-general Jessie Duarte has said.

“Once you have a criminal record of any kind, you can’t be appointed in the ANC, it’s not possible,” Duarte said in an interview.

“You can’t get into the governing structures of the ANC.”

At its national conference in Mangaung last year, the ANC resolved to take a hard line on party discipline.

It resolved that any of its members found guilty of wrongdoing in other institutions of society would be subjected to internal disciplinary processes.

As part of the resolution, the ANC appointed an integrity committee to look into matters of discipline.

The committee was looking at whether the resolution could be applied to ANC members charged or found guilty before December.

Duarte said the committee had to take into account that there might be people who were still under investigation from before Mangaung.

She referred to ANC Northern Cape chairman John Block and two others who faced charges of fraud, corruption, and contravening the Municipal Finance Management Act.

Duarte said the party believed in people being innocent until proven guilty.

“What we are concerned about is the question of integrity within the party.

“So, the resolution gives people the opportunity to take their own decision to step down,” she said.

If they did not step down, it would be the committee’s task to decide what should happen.

“If the integrity committee finds there are a number of people facing charges right now, and they would like to talk to them, and, in their view, there is a problem, then we are not going to tell those people (on the committee) what to do,” said Duarte.

But this was not the only remit of the committee. It would also look at matters reported in the media, and could receive information from anonymous sources.

The integrity committee is chaired by Rivonia trialist and former Robben Island prisoner Andrew Mlangeni.

Other members include: Frene Ginwala, Nelson Diale, Gertrude Shope, Ahmed Kathrada, Rashida Abdullah, Mendi Msimang, Sophie De Bruyn, Jethro Ndlovu, Dennis Goldberg, Lindelwe Mabandla, and Nokukhanya Jele.

“I’ve been in a room with them a couple of weeks ago, and myself and the (secretary-general Gwede Mantashe) we walked out there and we said ‘we made the right decision’.

“They’re ANC core. They are the strongest stalwarts in the organisation. They are very clear: if you mess up, this is where you are going to get dealt with in a proper way.”

She said no one in the party was above the integrity committee.

“We are all going to answer to those senior cadres of the movement. I think it’s very good. It’s encouraging.”

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