Mantashe: ANC to probe list claims

Johannesburg - The ANC plans to investigate allegations of candidate list manipulation, the ANC secretary general said on Sunday.

"The National Executive Committee endorsed the team that will investigate allegations of manipulation of the list process," said Gwede Mantashe.

The team would be chaired by Minister of Home Affairs Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma and would be briefed on Monday as to timeframes and terms of reference for the investigation.

Mantashe said that the elections had been "a steep learning curve", as the party had responded to reactions from communities, ranging from protest to acceptance.

"When people said that we (the ANC) started campaigning late, we actually started putting up (election) posters in October (last year)," he said, adding that the campaign had "hotted up (sic)" two months prior to the election.

Minority voters

In response to allegations that comments by senior ANC leaders may have alienated minority voters, Mantashe said that the number of coloured people voting for the ANC had increased in the local government elections.

"Statistics is a strange science. The overall number of coloured voters (for the ANC) increased, even though the percentage declined." This was to do with increased voter turn-out, he said.

Mantashe reiterated the party's mandate as a party of transformation, saying that the NEC was "satisfied" that provinces had "tried hard" to appoint at least 50% female mayors.

Saying that gender parity was "not just a numerical issue but a political one", Mantashe explained that it was "not enough" to have a fair gender split in terms of numbers if women were appointed mainly to small municipalities.

"The smaller the municipality, the smaller the revenue. If we appointed women only to the smaller municipalities that would be setting them up for failure," he said.

Saying thank you

The ANC would visit regions to conduct "thank you rallies", to show voters appreciation for their support.

He said that "door-to-door" visits by councillors should not cease with the election results.

Rather, this should be an on-going process to ensure that councillors were kept in touch with issues in the communities that they serve.

Mantashe said that Sunday's media briefing on the May NEC meeting would be the last time that the elections would be discussed.

He was speaking at Luthuli House in Johannesburg at a press briefing following the party's national executive committee meeting.
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