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ANC's Zero Tolerance: Mbalula Insists on Integrity in Candidate Lists Amidst Corruption Crackdown

Published March 12, 2024
2 months ago

In a bid to project a facade of administrative probity, the African National Congress (ANC), South Africa's ruling party, has taken definitive steps to distance itself from members facing corruption charges. According to ANC Secretary-General Fikile Mbalula, a meticulously conducted screening process has resulted in the exclusion of individuals under the party's step-aside rule from their submissions to the Electoral Commission of South Africa (IEC).

This rule pertains to party members who have been formally charged and are currently enmeshed in legal battles. However, a more contentious decision has been the inclusion of names from among those implicated during the hearings of the Zondo Commission into State Capture, provided they have been scrutinized by the party’s own Integrity Commission.

During a media briefing, Mbalula, alongside the head of the electorate committee, Kgalema Motlanthe, delineated on the strategies enforced to ensure the sanctity of their candidate list. "Our credentials as a party are non-negotiable, and we stand firm in purging our ranks of individuals with criminal records or those whose cases are before the court," Mbalula remarked, underscoring the party's commitment to upholding integrity in its political representation.

Out of the 20 ANC members who stood before the Zondo Commission, only six made the cut for Parliament nomination. These individuals, Mbalula confirmed, have purportedly been assessed and cleared by the ancillary party structures.

Motlanthe reinforced this message by highlighting the pivotal role of the ANC's Electoral Committee in implementing the necessary screening rules. “Our mandate was clear; exclude those with criminal records and subject others to our internal processes," Motlanthe explicated. This includes appearances before the Integrity Commission, which evaluates the suitability of individuals to represent the party, eventually making recommendations to the National Executive Committee (NEC).

The ANC's attempt to disassociate itself from the corruption plague has been a certified element of its organizational refurbishment, interpreted by Mbalula as a hard line against impunity and a promise that malfeasance will not be "swept under the carpet."

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