ANC outcry over inclusion of axed Zuma ministers as part of team to select mayors

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Malusi Gigaba
Malusi Gigaba
PHOTO: Adrian de Kock
  • The ANC has this week written to various party members and structures informing them that they would be forming part of the interviewing panel for the ANC's mayoral candidates.
  • It is understood that among those who have been selected to form part of the panel are Malusi Gigaba, Mosebenzi Zwane and Faith Muthambi.
  • Their inclusion was met with resistance from some party members who believed this would dent the ANC's renewal message.

Some senior ANC officials have warned that having premised its entire campaign on its acknowledgement of past mistakes and pledging to do better, the ANC’s choice to include former ministers accused of aiding state capture to its selection panel to elect the party’s mayoral candidates, threaten to derail whatever confidence the party had managed to win over.

Speaking to News24 on Wednesday, two senior party leaders confirmed that former president Jacob Zuma's allies, Malusi Gigaba, Mosebenzi Zwane and Faith Muthambi were among ANC officials selected to preside over the party's selection panel, which would interview and appoint ANC mayoral candidates.

Faith Muthambi
Faith Muthambi

"Most ANC NEC members and senior officials who work at Luthuli House have been selected to make up the various panels that will work in different provinces to elect mayors and the three former ministers have also made this list," said a senior ANC member.

READ | ANCYL demanding to have a say in who becomes ANC mayoral candidates

The ANC member went on to say while they understood the need to have as many numbers as possible to form part of the interviewing panel, the selection of the three individuals could send the wrong message.

"We have been preaching renewal and doing things better this time round and yet we also include tainted individuals into the selection panel," said the senior ANC member.

The ANC premised its entire campaign on its acknowledgement of past mistakes and pledging to do better.

Another NEC member told News24 that "the problem does not start now, it started when the president (Cyril Ramaphosa) chose not to take decisive action against these so-called Zuma ministers. There was an outcry when they were allowed to take their place in Parliament just as there is an outcry now when they are being included in the selection panel.

"In all honesty, South Africans are going to continue criticising the ANC and doubting our genuineness regarding this turning a new leaf project if such actions continue to be taken."

When contacted for comment, the ANC, through its spokesperson Dakota Legoete, refused to be drawn on the topic.

He said it was disingenuous to emphasise certain individuals while there was a long list of "capable and committed individuals" who would be conducting the interviews.

Another source with intimate knowledge of the matter also added that just because the aforementioned ministers may have been written to and asked to form part of the interview panel, this did not mean that they would accept the offer.

Mosebenzi Zwane
Mosebenzi Zwane

"The ministers' names have been and continue to be dragged to the ground for allegedly having played one role or another in the alleged state capture, but this has yet to be proven by a court of law and yet their names continues to be dragged in the mud," said the source, who added that it was malicious to merely single out the three as if they were the only members appointed to the selection panel.

ANCYL gets interview panel sit-in

Last week, News24 reported that the ANC Youth League was demanding a sit-in in the interviewing panels for mayoral candidates.

On Wednesday, the convener of the youth league, Nonceba Mhlauli, told New24 that the ANCYL had received a letter from the ANC notifying the structure that it should select some members to form part of the interviewing panel.

Mhlauli said:

I can confirm that we have received confirmation that our members will also form part of the interview process and we are in the process to select our members who will form part of the interviewing panels across the provinces.

She added that details had not yet been shared by the secretary-general's office as to how many interviewing panels would be established and where they would congregate to conduct the interview.

Addressing the media at Luthuli House on Wednesday, ANC deputy secretary-general Jessie Duarte, said the interviews would be conducted on 13 November, and the selection of all mayoral candidates ought to be concluded by 18 November.

Stay updated with News24's latest coverage, opinion and analysis of Elections 2021. Check out results from the previous municipal elections.

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