With 26 days to go, the Electoral Commission of SA (IEC) yesterday officially opened the election season when political parties signed the election code of conduct and locked in the party candidate lists after dismissing 51 out of 52 complaints to the commission.
“The candidates we now have, unless reviewed by a court, are the candidates we have going into this election,” IEC commissioner Mosotho Moepya said yesterday.
Moepya would not reveal who had laid complaints against which party, only that the ANC had received 29 objections, 19 against Black First Land First, 13 against the EFF, four against the DA and Land Party, and one each against the African Christian Democratic Party, African Content Movement, African Independent Party and the Alliance for Transformation for All.
The Electoral Court has until April 16 to decide on the appeals – if any are brought – and by April 23, the list will be set in stone until elections on May 8.
While the date for substitutions according to the IEC election timeline passed on March 28, on Monday ANC head of elections Fikile Mbalula maintained there was a “secondary” list in case substitutions had to be made.
However, with the objections being cleared by the IEC, Mbalula’s spokesperson yesterday referred questions about any potential changes to the list to ANC spokesperson Dakota Legeota, who also remained mum.
Former ministers Malusi Gigaba (home affairs), Nomvula Mokonyane (water and sanitation) – under parliamentary probe for “collapsing” the department – and Mosebenzi Zwane (mineral resources) are some of the names on the ANC list. They are also implicated in state capture.
Then there is Minister Bathabile Dlamini, responsible for the social grants debacle, Minister Zweli Mkhize, Zizi Kodwa, Tina Joemat-Petersson, David Mahlobo, Faith Muthambi and Deputy President David Mabuza, all with various allegations against them.
The only objection upheld by the IEC was that of the Pan Africanist Congress of Azania (PAC) against its own candidate, Seropane Mphethi.
“This candidate was sentenced on June 7, 2016, to 18 months’ imprisonment without the option of a fine,” Moepya said. “This disqualifies him [Mphethi] from holding elected office to the National Assembly or a provincial legislature.”
On Monday, Mbalula said if the ANC said someone should step aside, it was not negotiable.
“You have to step aside. And that will apply to any other individual on the list of the ANC.
“What we will not do is shy away from issues that are raised that have got implications for the integrity of the ANC … but we will not victimise people.”