Pretoria - The ANC announced its mayoral candidates for the 2016 local elections after hours of rigorous deliberation by its National Executive Committee in Tshwane on Saturday evening.
African National Congress Secretary General Gwede Mantashe said the party decided on the announcement, a first in its history, so that candidates could assist in its campaigns.
He said the announcement was a culmination of an extensive process in its internal democracy.
The ANC retained Mayor Danny Jordaan as its mayoral candidate in Nelson Mandela Bay. It is said to be most contested metro.
The ANC decided on Johannesburg Mayor Parks Tau as its candidate in the country's economic hub.
In Ekurhuleni, mayor Mondli Gungubele was notably replaced by Mzwandile Masina as the party candidate.
Part of the ANC's announcement of mayoral candidates included strategic municipalities, which Mantashe explained were "geo-political locations; growth and development trajectory and economic achievement among others."
He said there were two situations where the party had not finalised its candidates, including the highly volatile Tshwane metro where several party members had expressed dissatisfaction with its candidates list.
"We explained to the respective Provincial Executive Committees (PEC) to go back and do something different, " Mantashe told journalists.
He said 8 PEC's submitted candidates for final deliberation except the Northern Cape province.
"We gave them (the Northern Cape) three strategic municipalities namely Kimberley, Upington and Springbok and we have given them a week to look and finalise the names there," Mantashe explained.
Mantashe said candidates with criminal convictions or pending cases were not considered.
"We should not use the case of innocence until proven guilty because we may face a situation where that comrade is asked to step aside as mayor."
Mantashe said in its selection, the party followed strict guidelines that were set in its resolution during the Polokwane national conference.
"In selection of the leadership we must ensure there is an elective government and gender parity... As we appoint mayors we need to ensure that we improving the skills profile of an individual," he said.
Other ANC mayoral candidates announced are:
Mangaung - Olly Mlamleli
Buffalo City Metro - Xola Phakathi
Cape Town Metro - Xolani Sotashe
eThekwini Metro - Zandile Gumede