The ANC’s arrogance in power and President Cyril Ramaphosa’s fear of a coup had to do with their insistence on keeping objectionable party members on the parliamentary lists, despite an outcry from voters.
This was the view of professor Lesiba Teffo of the Centre for African Renaissance at Unisa.
Teffo said Ramaphosa was caught between a rock and a hard place as he could not leave out his opponents without risking his recall or a coup. It would be difficult for him to remove the likes of Nomvula Mokonyane and Bathabile Dlamini without being punished for it.
“It’s going to be a headache,” Teffo said. “Who can kick out Nomvula and Bathabile? Yes, Cyril can afford to leave them out, but at what cost to his presidency?
“If he did that the forces that want to remove him would be strengthened and his unity movement would be thrown asunder.”
He stressed that the ANC’s attitude had more to do with the balance of forces and factions within the governing party.
The political analyst suggested that the ANC’s insistence to include questionable politicians on its lists had more to do with arrogance of power that made them believe they could get away with murder.
“They believe that the South African voters are gullible and have uncritical loyalty to the liberation movement …”
In the African context, the electorate tended not to deal with issues but with emotions, driven by the politics of the stomach.
Organisations like the ANC took advantage of that because they knew they would be returned to power even after negative findings from the commissions of inquiry.
The list of public representatives for parliament and provincial legislatures was published in the Government Gazette this week and the names of those with tainted images feature prominently on the ANC list.
This has raised the ire of the electorate, the opposition and political experts, who blamed Ramaphosa’s weakness as a leader.
Among those fingered in commissions and investigations were Mokonyane, Dlamini, Malusi Gigaba, Mosebenzi Zwane and Faith Muthambi. They are among the top 100 out of 230 ANC MPs going to the National Assembly.
Mokonyane is placed at number 10, Dlamini 14, Gigaba 23, Zwane 75 and Muthambi at 79. Positions on the list guaranteed deployment to Cape Town.
All MPs would be sworn in next week and indications were that some of the graft suspects could be appointed into Ramaphosa’s new Cabinet.
DA spokesperson Solly Malatsi said: “The fact that those individuals are going to parliament clearly shows once again that the talks of a new dawn are fiction. It also shows that the ANC under Cyril Ramaphosa has no appetite to take action against its corrupt individuals and those who breached their oath of office and violated the Constitution.”
Malatsi’s position is echoed by Congress of the People spokesperson Dennis Bloem, who said Ramaphosa was a powerless leader.
Bloem claimed the real power in the ANC lied with secretary-general Ace Magashule, hence those who are tainted were deployed.
“The voters are to blame for voting the ANC back into power because that would return these looters to parliament and to the Cabinet of Ramaphosa.”
He said if the voters were unhappy with what happened under Jacob Zuma, they could have voted against the ANC.
“But now they have given the ANC a mandate to continue with corruption.”
Organisation Undoing Tax Abuse (Outa) chief executive Wayne Duvenage said the deployment of the questionable members to parliament was “unacceptable”.
“It’s not sending the right message… For the ANC to include people like Malusi Gigaba, Faith Muthambi, Nomvula Mokonyane and Mosebenzi Zwane on their lists of parliamentarians and appointing them to Cabinet probably, is not good at all. These are the people that we, as Outa, laid charges against for their conducts.”