ANC electoral committee disqualifies Bathabile Dlamini from NEC, hits back at critics

Kgalema Motlanthe. Photo: Dudu Zitha
Kgalema Motlanthe. Photo: Dudu Zitha

The ANC has disqualified ANC Women's League president Bathabile Dlamini from contesting for a position in the national executive committee (NEC) at its upcoming conference. The party has also hit back at party members who have been trying to discredit the work of the electoral committee in the lead up to the elective conference scheduled for the Nasrec Expo Centre in Johannesburg next week.

The party’s electoral committee, led by former deputy president Kgalema Motlanthe, has been under attack from different members who did not make the cut in the nominations by the branches.

Yesterday, the committee wrote to Dlamini to inform her that she was not eligible because she had a historical record of being found guilty of a serious crime in a court of law for which the sentence had been more than six months. The committee quoted an ANC rules that state that no one may contest election leadership if they have been found guilty of or have been charged with unethical or immoral conduct or any serious crime of corruption.

"We therefore regret to inform you that you have been disqualified as a candidate for any of the NEC positions during the 55th conference."

Dlamini was found guilty of perjury early this year and sentenced to four years in prison or a fine of R200 000, half of which was suspended for five years.

Last month, Tourism Minister Lindiwe Sisulu criticised the committee after she was left out during the final candidates for the presidency position.

Sisulu challenged the credibility of the nomination list arguing that her data showed that she had been nominated by many branches instead of the 66.

But Motlanthe defended the committee and challenged her to produce proof. He said her assertion that she qualifies to be among the top three nominees for the position of president as puzzling and preposterous. 

READ: Motlanthe takes on Sisulu as nominations battle heats up

This week, a group represented by Advocate Fezeka Magano lodged a dispute with the electoral committee and listed several names as some of the aggrieved individuals.

Magano claimed he was given the power of attorney to dispute the final nomination list released by the committee last week. But in his response on Wednesday, Motlanthe said he found the authorship of the dispute “rather dubious and unprofessional” as it was not signed by those he claimed to be representing.

Motlanthe advised Magano to refrain from raising unsubstantiated allegations which has the potential to plunge the ANC into disrepute.

Motlanthe said: 

Our appointed agency, Elextions, collected all branch nomination boxes from provincial offices and opened nomination booklets in front of provincial and regional secretaries to ensure transparency

Motlanthe said the agency captured all the nominations for officials and additional per regions and per province.

“From this data, all nominees who received the majority of nominations in each province, gender-balanced, were listed as the provincial nominations,” said Motlanthe.

He argued that it was unnecessary for Magano to try and agitate against the electoral committee through his notice of objection when matters could have been clarified internally without going to the media.

ANC spokesperson Pule Mabe lambasted the usage of other members' names to lodge the disputes while advancing their own personal ambitions without talking to the individuals mentioned in the dispute.

READ: ANC losers cry foul

“People must not use other people’s names to give credence or legitimacy to their concerns. The ANC never stopped anyone from nominating or being nominated for as long as they qualified and met the requirements set out by the party’s electoral committee. Our appeal to our structures is that they must follow the right platform to raise their concerns where such may exist,” said Mabe.

He said the electoral committee has assured the party that they have done everything in their power to ensure that the credibility of the conference is not in question.

Mabe said: 

Where cadres have concerns, they are welcomed to have their concerns, but they must follow valid and due processes of the organisation

"It’s a problem for someone to go out there and use other people’s names or comrade to raise their concerns when those comrades don’t even know about such. It is unfair and is not helping the credibility of those individuals,” said Mabe.

He said the electoral committee does not impose on branches on who they must nominate. The names that the electoral committee took were nominated by more than one province. 

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