Cosatu backs probe of ANC nominee lists
Cape Town - The Congress of SA Trade Unions and the Young Communist League of SA have welcomed President Jacob Zuma's statement that the ANC will investigate all incidents where lists of local government elections candidates were manipulated.
"Cosatu has fully supported the ANC's decision to enable local communities to participate in the selection of ANC candidates and its members have been involved in the process, which has generally worked well," spokesperson Patrick Craven said in a statement on Friday.
However, the federation had expressed concern that in a minority of cases the process had been manipulated or abused by "gate-keepers" to impose candidates of their choice and ignored the views of the communities.
"This has unfortunately led to some rejected candidates standing as independents, something that Cosatu has strongly opposed," he said.
It was too late to change candidates whose names had already been submitted to the Independent Electoral Commission, but the federation hoped that the assurance that the task team would investigate irregularities with the list process, and remove undeserving councillors after the elections, and where necessary replace them with the communities' preferred candidates, would encourage voters to support ANC candidates.
Cosatu would work closely with its alliance parties to ensure that the process was conducted in an open and democratic fashion, he said.
In another statement, the YCL said the probe should be "an alliance-inclusive process, and that those responsible for undermining the will of our people, including those who failed to register candidates, be brought to book".
During the YCL's election campaign, it had heard how some ANC regional and provincial leaders had used undemocratic and bureaucratic means to manipulate lists to satisfy factional interests.
This had led to communities opting to support independent candidates or threatening not to vote.
It had also led to widespread protests with people being dissatisfied with their will being undermined, the league said.
"We have also witnessed gross exclusion of some ANC members from lists on the basis of their membership of either the SA Communist Party or Congress of SA Trade Unions.
"This falls squarely within an agenda foreign to the movement and only reminiscent of the pre-Polokwane ANC leadership, that of undermining the unity and cohesion the alliance."
The YCL called on all its cadres to go all out and campaign for an overwhelming ANC election victory.