New ANC NEC ushers in new era as Cabinet ministers face exit

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Pravin Gordhan received only 14 nominations.  Photo: Esa Alexander/Sunday Times
Pravin Gordhan received only 14 nominations. Photo: Esa Alexander/Sunday Times

In what is described as the end of an era, the ANC electoral committee’s announcement of the final list of the party’s additional members shows most of the current national executive committee (NEC) members failing to make the cut.

With only two weeks left before the ANC national conference billed for Nasrec in Johannesburg, most of the NEC members, who are also Cabinet ministers, have failed to make it into the top 200 names nominated for the NEC positions.

The final nomination list shows that several Cabinet ministers and deputy ministers might not return to the ANC's NEC structure after the national conference in December.

While President Cyril Ramaphosa’s political career hangs in the air after a damning section 89 panel report indicated that he may have a case to answer regarding the Phala Phala farm theft, some of his Cabinet members might not return to the structure.

READ: ANC losers cry foul

Some of the prominent names who could not make it included minister of public enterprise Pravin Gordhan, former minister of agriculture and land affairs Derek Hanekom, minister of employment and labour Thulas Nxesi, minister of health Joe Phaahla, minister of international relations and cooperation Naledi Pandor, minister in the presidency for women, youth and persons with disabilities Maite Nkoana-Mashabane, minister of trade, industry and competition Ebrahim Patel, chairperson of the national council of provinces Amos Masondo and former Cosatu president Sdumo Dlamini.

Gordhan received 14 nominations, while Phaahla was nominated by only 27 branches.

Another person who could not get enough nominations is vocal NEC member and Ramaphosa's critic, Tony Yengeni.

The new list was hailed as the future because it consisted of many young people who received the most nominations from branches. The top ten nominated included Deputy Finance Minister David Masondo, former cabinet minister Malusi Gigaba, serving Cabinet ministers Fikile Mbalula and Stella Ndabeni and former Gauteng premier David Makhura.

The surprising names who were nominated included Andile Lungisa, who got 1 013 nominations. However, Lungisa is battling to keep his membership after he was expelled from the party by the Eastern Cape ANC.

Chairperson of the ANC electoral committee Kgalema Motlanthe said they were still going to reduce the list through vetting processes.

READ: Motlanthe takes on Sisulu as nominations battle heats up

He said most of the people nominated have already accepted nominations.

Motlanthe said the vetting process was under way and, therefore, the list might change.

“If any one of the names does not meet the criteria as spelt out in the rules as well as the constitution of the ANC, they will be disqualified,” he said.

He also decried the lack of nominations for women in the higher structure.

Motlanthe said what was shocking was that even the ANC Women’s League has failed women by not nominating them.

The ANC is experiencing difficulties with regard to gender parity. It's very clear that very few male comrades see it as their duty and responsibility to nominate capable women comrades for leadership positions.

Motlanthe said they were satisfied that the 200 names he read out were balanced with 50% women.

“But we did say that members should try to give effect to the 50/50 gender parity in the nominations of the top six. But clearly, that message hasn't been taken home yet. That's a trend that we can design from at this point. And, therefore, all developments will no doubt impact the final list, one way or the other,” he said.

He added the ANC's constitution dictated that the final 86 members elected would be 50/50.

“There's no question about it. It's a constitutional imperative.” 

Motlanthe said they have sent out reminders to the nominees and their teams to submit their financial declarations.

READ: ANC’s final nomination list shows Ramaphosa far ahead of Mkhize, as Sisulu and Dlamini-Zuma fall short

The secretary of the committee, Chief Livhuwani Matsila, emphasised that nominees who were not allowed to stand included those who had been criminally charged or found guilty of a serious crime for which the prison sentences would be six months.

“And those of course who will be found guilty by the disciplinary committee or have had their membership suspended in the last 10 years are not allowed to stand. The third one will be those that are on temporary suspension, pending a court case,” he said. 

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