If the ANC is serious about a corruption-free new era, it must publish its election candidate lists without delay.
Instead, the party says lists will not be released before being registered with the Electoral Commission. As the election date has not been proclaimed, this allows the party months to continue hiding one core truth.
Will the ANC have scandal-free candidates? The signs are not promising. A circulated draft parliamentary list is top heavy with the usual suspects. Gupta-enabler and former finance minister Malusi Gigaba, who lied under oath and featured in a porn video, is high up at number 16.
Such choices reveal much about dominant values in the ANC. Number two, behind Cyril Ramaphosa, is David Mabuza, whom the New York Times said, “undercuts the promise of a ‘new dawn’ more than any other member of South Africa’s new government”.
At three is Gwede Mantashe, who, as secretary-general, was effectively ANC chief executive officer when the organisation was captured by the Zuptas. Fourth is Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, who was proxy for Jacob Zuma in the December 2017 ANC leadership elections.
Baleka Mbete, the speaker who protected Jacob Zuma in parliament, is fifth. Bathabile Dlamini, whom the Constitutional Court found to be “reckless and grossly negligent‚ in the social grants debacle”, is seventh.
Number nine is Nomvula Mokonyane, under whom the water and sanitation department incurred more than R6.5 billion in irregular expenditure.
David Mahlobo, massage parlour client and friend of a rhino-horn smuggler, is number 26. Mahlobo’s alleged state capture connection stems from a claim that he was appointed energy minister at the behest of Russia.
Have we forgotten all this? Tony Yengeni, who was carried shoulder high to Pollsmoor Prison by ANC leaders to serve a sentence for arms deal fraud, is electable in 99th place.
And so it continues.
Seriously, how can there be a new beginning with the same old trash? Have any of these people expressed remorse? No. Have any state capture suspects been formally charged? No.
According to an official ANC statement, the vetting process will ensure “all candidates can withstand scrutiny and meet all the requirements… The ANC is under no illusion that its list must embrace its integrity with a calibre of public representatives capable of advancing the electoral mandate of the ANC”.
Integrity has some strange meaning in the ANC. The party’s so-called integrity commission has been slack in dealing with transgressors, including those who looted VBS Mutual Bank.
Consider, too, that the eThekweni municipality, home to ANC’s biggest region, will spend R25 million to help Zuma record struggle songs. Loyalty to the unapologetic constitutional delinquent runs deep, in election lists and in such gestures.
The ANC should conduct its own AmaBhungane exercise, cleaning all dung from its Augean stables. Otherwise the Herculean task of building a prosperous future cannot succeed.
Remember, there is no “vote for Cyril”.
You vote for a party, in this case for a list full of Zuptas.