ANC candidates must get police clearance ahead of polls

2016-05-19 16:45

Cape Town - Proposed candidates for the ANC's municipal election list will have to get police clearance, the party's Western Cape provincial executive committee (PEC) spokesperson Jabu Mfusi said on Thursday.

They also need to provide municipal statements to show that they are fully paid-up on their municipal accounts, and must prove that they are registered in the ward that they could end up representing.

"We need assurances that our people are crime-free and have the right values and integrity," he explained.

The directive was from the party's secretary general, Gwede Mantashe, and was aimed at protecting the image of the ANC.

This comes after a Western Cape PEC meeting was disrupted on Wednesday by a group of people calling for the ward councillor nomination lists to be redone.

They alleged that the process was flawed and claimed there were people on the lists with criminal records.

Broken promise

Mfusi said that, after the disruption, the PEC had listened to their complaints and that they would be dealt with at another meeting on Saturday.

The meeting would also cover claims by the ANC Youth League in the province that the party was not sticking to its own promise of reserving 20% of the candidate lists for the youth.

Mfusi said their complaint over criminal records would be dealt with by the party's new requirements for police clearance.

Matters have been heating up in the party as it gears up to try and win the province back from the governing DA.

A new chairperson, Marius Fransman, was elected last year, but he found himself embroiled in allegations of sexually harassing a young woman on the way to the party's birthday celebrations in Rustenburg in January.

In April, the party's provincial secretary, Faeiz Jacobs, was found guilty of assaulting former ANC employee Wesley Seale at the ANC's offices last November.

A finding by the party's disciplinary committee came with an 18-month suspension, but that was suspended for three years.

Sending a message

Mfusi said that if a candidate had a criminal record related to political activity, they would not be disqualified from nomination.

Many of South Africa's top politicians, including President Jacob Zuma, were sentenced to lengthy jail terms for actions considered criminal by the apartheid government.

Zuma was arrested in 1963 and convicted of conspiring to overthrow the apartheid government. He served 10 years in jail on Robben Island.

In terms of the party's constitution, conviction in a court of law and being sentenced to a term of imprisonment without the option of a fine for any serious non-political offence puts a person in line for possible misconduct charges in the party.

Mfusi said, with regards to the requirement of municipal statements, the aim was to strengthen the message that rates payments contributed to the money needed to build the country's infrastructure.

Comment was not immediately available from the national ANC.

Read more on: anc  |  gwede mantashe  |  local elections 2016