'The battle for the cleansing of the ANC has begun', elders urge SA to vote ANC

Cheryl Carolus (File, City Press)
Cheryl Carolus (File, City Press)

ANC veterans and stalwarts have called on South Africans to vote for the governing party in the upcoming elections saying that no other party has what it takes to lead the country.

This, despite the fact that its candidate lists for the National Assembly and provincial legislatures include names of leaders who are seen to be unsavoury.

"We still believe no other party in this country has the solutions, the vision or the values, or commitment to carry through those values," former deputy secretary general Cheryl Carolus said.

The veterans held a media briefing at the iconic Lilliesleaf farm in Rivonia, where several party leaders, including former president Nelson Mandela, were arrested and charged with treason. Although they escaped the death penalty, they served lengthy prison sentences.

Carolus told journalists outright that the soul of the liberation movement was up in the air as many were at odds over the candidate lists.

Her views were echoed by president of the veterans' league, Snuki Zikalala.

Zikalala said that, during its provincial conference in Gauteng, the league urged leaders to think carefully when accepting nominations to represent the ANC in Parliament.

"We urge them to step aside if their nomination may be negatively perceived by the electorate and if in any way, they are undeserving of the confidence of the electorate," Zikalala read from the Gauteng declarations.

"I was perturbed looking at some of the names on the list," said another veteran, Mavuso Msimang.

He questioned why people who had court findings against them had allowed their names to be submitted along with other credible leaders to the Electoral Commission of SA. 

Msimang said the ANC conference in 2017 spelt out the kind of leaders the ANC wanted to see serving the party.

Another longstanding ANC leader Popo Molefe said it was not about guilty findings but about leaders who have dark clouds hanging over them.

"The battle for the cleansing of the ANC has begun. It's well on its way and cannot wait for the courts to be the custodians of our movement," Carolus added.

ANC leaders Nomvula Mokonyane, Bathabile Dlamini, Msebenzi Zwane and Malusi Gigaba have all had allegations of corruption made against them.

Dlamini and Gigaba were also found, by the courts, to have lied under oath.

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