‘Disrespectful, divisive’: Ace ‘tampering’ with North West list ‘will cost the ANC’

ANC secretary-general Ace Magashule leads an entourage of ANC members to submit his party's list at the Independent Electoral Commission’s offices for the upcoming elections. Picture: Morapedi Mashashe
ANC secretary-general Ace Magashule leads an entourage of ANC members to submit his party's list at the Independent Electoral Commission’s offices for the upcoming elections. Picture: Morapedi Mashashe

ANC alliance structures and veterans in the North West have rejected the final changes to the provincial election lists submitted to the electoral commission by secretary-general Ace Magashule and they want the top six to reverse the alterations.

In the six-page letter to Luthuli House on Sunday, marked “confidential,” the signatories – among them Cosatu provincial executive committee member Mosadiwamajwe Mokokong, South African Communist Party provincial chairperson Smuts Mathe, South African National Civic Organisation provincial secretary Packet Seaketso and ANC veterans league provincial working committee member Bushy Mape – said that the manner in which Magashule’s national list committee handled the final list was disrespectful and divisive, adding that it would cost the party in the upcoming May 8 general elections.

The quartet, who also served in the provincial list committee that initially compiled the nominations from branches, warned that the matter required urgent attention and feedback because “it has negatively impacted on the moral of those working the elections campaign”.

Magashule submitted the list to the electoral commission last Wednesday and pictures of him allegedly “tampering” with the list circulated on social media this week, prompting Luthuli House to sternly rebuke State Security Minister Dipuo Letsatsi-Duba, who allegedly accused Magashule of wrongdoing.

The letter to Luthuli House on Sunday said that two days after the commission’s closing date for list submissions “it came to our attention that the list registered is not the same as the one canvassed with structures”.

“There were many changes that actually undermined the list guidelines as well as the efforts to respect the democratic processes and unite the movement in the province, but most importantly to regain the confidence of the voters”.

Read: Ace Magashule: We don’t need white votes

The national list committee, according to the letter, effected eight major changes to the list including moving some allies of ex-premier Supra Mahumapelo – who enjoys a close relationship with Magashule – into top positions that are regarded as “electable and safe”.

The names mentioned in the letter are Bitsa Lenkopane, Susan Dantjie, Galebekwe Tlhapi, Sebang Motlhabi, Nkamoheleng Phadi-More and Wendy Nelson. Only the name of Cosatu provincial secretary Job Dliso “satisfied the criteria of shortcomings identified”.

“The rest of the interventions are not acceptable and should be reversed”.

The letter said that the changes affected by Luthuli House also “displaced many comrades who unfortunately are playing a key role in the elections campaign work”.

ANC chief whip in the provincial legislature Raymond Elisha and former Bojanala district mayor Louis Diremelo are mentioned among the examples of people who were “left in the non-electable portion,” mainly to benefit people aligned to Mahumapelo.

Others were Nonofo Lechuti (no longer part of the list), former Mafikeng local mayor Lenah Miga, former Matlosana local mayor Mike Khauoe, social development MEC Fenny Gaolaolwe and Hendrick Botha.

“In order to redress the situation which has negatively affected the moral of our structures especially those in election campaign structures, the letter proposed remedial measures including respect for the democratic outcome, and the reversal of all other changes except for Dliso and the Bridgette Mogakwe of the provincial ANC women’s league.

The letter argued that the outcomes of the ANC in North West list conference held in early January in Orkney, Klerksdorp, could not be disowned by any structure because the conference was preceded by branch general meetings that had been audited by the former provincial executive committee under Mahumapelo, and convened by the interim provincial task team that took over when the provincial executive committee was disbanded.

“In simple terms, both the provincial executive committee and the provincial task team contributed to the process of preparing for the list conference and hence none of these structures can legitimately disown the provincial list conference”.

It said that participation in the conference was inclusive as “different lobby groups freely expressed their preferences”, thus it “produced a democratic outcome which was accepted by all delegates”.

The subsequent ordering of the list by the provincial list committee, according to the letter, considered the democratic process, proven support by branches, gender parity, 20% youth representation, continuity, regional spread, representation of alliance and mass democratic movement structures, adequate representation of national groups, self-representation of leaders from the disability sector and critical skills”.

The letter said that although there were a few “shortcomings” in both the province to province and the province to national lists, “all structures were generally satisfied with the draft reordering of the list”.

Magashule “tampered” with the list

Acting ANC spokesperson Dakota Legoete said in a statement that City Press saw yesterday that the party “finds it shocking and reckless in the extreme for [Letsatsi-Duba] to make baseless and reckless claims that [Magashule] had tampered with the official list of ANC candidates”.

Legoete said Magashule formally submitted the final ANC candidate list to the Independent Electoral Commission as part of his official duties as secretary-general.

“It was in his capacity as secretary-general that Magashule also presided over the list process, and chaired the ANC list committee.

“The list process was democratic and transparent, and complied with all the provisions officially provided for by the ANC, and in full compliance with all the relevant rules and regulations of the electoral commission,” he said.

He said that Letsatsi-Duba ought to have called Magashule to establish “the full facts”, namely that he was “in the offices of the electoral commission”, and was asked to “check the electronic version sent earlier with a printout of the list that he had brought along with him”.

Pictures of Magashule working on the list – “taken by a staff member of the electoral commission” – were circulated on social media.

Legoete said Letsati-Duba ran an important ministry. He said the ANC welcomed President Cyril Ramaphosa’s initiatives to restructure the intelligence services and “to ensure that the Intelligence services are not used for personal political gains.”

Unfortunately, he said, “her behaviour shows recklessness and political factionalism, which contradicts the initiatives of Ramaphosa”. He said that since Monday Magashule had been trying to contact Letsatsi-Duba but “she has never replied to his messages”.

“This leaves us with no option but to request a public apology from her, correcting the lies that she is peddling”.

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