The final 2014 Election lists: Fighters, crooks, Private Eyes...
- Greg Nicolson
- South Africa
- 13 Mar 2014 (South Africa)
Nominations for candidates for the 7 May vote have been officially closed by the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC). Despite worries the party wouldn't make it, the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) delivered their lists, contesting all available provincial and national positions, in true Fighter style – with a scuffle outside the IEC offices at the last minute. So, who might be going to Parliament? The political class of 2014 continues to surprise. By GREG NICOLSON.
It would have been hard to imagine Malema's EFF not being able to register for the elections. Sure, the party is young (both in the demographic of its supporters and its actual age), doesn't get official government funding, and says its operating mainly on beret sales. When submitting their candidate lists parties need to give the IEC a bank guaranteed cheque of R200,000 for contesting the national elections and R45,000 per province contesting. It's a deposit to prove parties are serious and the money is refunded if the party wins a single seat in a national or provincial legislature.
On Tuesday, the North Gauteng High Court dismissed the EFF's application to limit or scrap the costs. Malema condemned the ruling as unconstitutional saying it limited the indigent (and therefore black masses) from participating in the country's democracy. Business Day columnist Sipho Hlongwane agreed to an extent. "If a party doesn't have a vast number of paying members or wealthy benefactors, it stands no chance, regardless of its policies. Surely this is not democratic?" he asked on Monday.
Meanwhile, political analyst, Ebrahim Fakir, agreed with the court, arguing on Twitter that the deposits serve to ensure ballot papers aren't filled with insincere and "scurrilous" parties and to test the connection they have with the public. The deposit is the best test of those aims available, he argued. Obviously, the courts agreed.
While the EFF was trying to make a point, it is nevertheless damn sincere about these elections. And while it might be living hand-in-cap (or should we say beret? Ed) it also has to find the money to cover Juju's tax debts. Remarkably it has been able to buy a fully-equipped election truck, a Mercedes Benz 2528, and run what is, for a spanking new party, an extremely comprehensive ground-level mobilisation campaign. Then there are the berets, positioned like a marketer's wet dream in the young, revolutionary, politically-astute-but-still-stylish segment. There were 50,000 people at the party's Thembisa manifesto launch, most in berets, and loads of them are being sold around the country. At R100 a pop it's enough to buy a few Johnnie Blues. It might not meet any IEC criteria, but it shows the party is at least serious about style.
"This money comes from these fighters you see here. We have done everything in our power to register," said Malema on Wednesday, according to SAPA.
The party had travelled across the country collecting enough money to contest elections. "We didn't sleep, we had to run all over asking members," Malema added.
Meanwhile, EFF supporters were later reported to have scuffled with police outside the IEC officers as they tried to follow Malema inside.
Juju's right hand man and Commissar, Floyd Shivambu, posted on Facebook, "IEC submission done. EFF shall be in the ballot paper for 2014 general elections. On 7 May, our people shall proudly #VoteEFF. The whole list is submitted and EFF will be contesting for all available seats available in National Assembly and Provincial Legislatures."
There you have it.
EFF's slightly older and much less popular rival, Agang SA, surprised everyone with one particular name on its list; Paul O'Sullivan, the private investigator who doggedly pursued former police commissioner Jackie Selebi and who might end up in the National Assembly.
"I am extremely pleased to announce that well-known and respected forensic consultant Paul O'Sullivan has joined Agang SA and is on our National Assembly list," announced Agang leader Mamphela Ramphele on Wednesday.
A number of people have been arrested for planning to assassinate O'Sullivan to stop him investigating Bedfordview's favourite Czech fugitive Radovan Krejcir.
"I am particularly pleased that the Agang SA list of candidates for the National Assembly features a number of individuals who have shown their mettle in the fight against corruption that is threatening to bring this country to its knees ," Ramphele added while also announcing Andrew Gasnolar, and Mike Tshishonga are on the party's list.
Meanwhile, the ANC's decision to include a number of members with dubious records on its list was widely criticised on Wednesday. The DA's Dianne Kohler Barnard hammered the ruling party for placing former police commissioner Bheki Cele on the KZN list.
"It is yet another indication that President Zuma's ANC is not serious about fighting corruption in South Africa. The return of Mr Cele can simply not be justified. He has been the subject of two damning reports by the Moloi Police Board of Inquiry and the Public Protector, Adv Thuli Madonsela, respectively," she said in a statement.
DA Federal Executive Chairperson, James Selfe, went further. The nomination of (take a breath) Dina Pule, Tina Joemat-Pettersson, Pule Mabe, Cassel Mathale, Bathabile Dlamini, Beauty Dlulane, Mnyamezeli Booi, Ruth Bhengu, and Humphrey Mmemezi "demonstrated – once and for all – that [the ANC] is not serious about fighting corruption," he said.
All have either been accused or found to be responsible for one or a series of screw-ups (the accumulative rap sheet includes findings of unlawful conduct, fraud, and general malfeasance).
"While South Africans will be concerned by the ANC list, I am confident that they are not surprised. The reality is that the ANC cannot commit to the fight against corruption when their very own leader, and number one on the list, President Jacob Zuma, does everything possible to delay the release of the Spy Tapes in order to avoid having to answer for over 700 charges of corruption in a court of law. Moreover, the ANC does nothing to hold its president to account for the spending of over R200 million of public money on his private residence in Nkandla," Selfe accused.
The ANC says everyone who has been nominated meets the constitutional requirements and the nominations reflect the will of ANC branches. The Constitution says unrehabilitated insolvents (Malema better get cracking with those tax debts) and anyone who has been sentenced to a year or more in prison without the option of a fine can't go to Parliament. Despite the lengthy list of accusations against some ANC candidates, they all appear to still qualify.
Interestingly it was reported that the ANC conducted in-depth research on possible candidates, questioning them on whether they had lovers on the side, if they had ever leaked information as well as on certain financial details.
This suggests the ANC realises how scandal-prone leaders can damage the party's image, but the nomination of characters like Pule, Mmemezi and Mabe is a reminder that Zuma still needs to pay his Mangaung debts. Still, the list is not much of a surprise
With elections seven weeks away, all the big players and some of the smaller ones are still in the race. The teams are set. Now it's time for them to convince us they can cut unemployment and corruption and improve service delivery. DM
- The ANC, 2014 election edition: From Number One to Number 200 in Daily Maverick.
Photo: Supporters of Julius Malema's Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) party listen to speeches at the launch of the EFF's election manifesto in Tembisa township, east of Johannesburg, February 22, 2014. South Africa goes to the polls on May 7. REUTERS/Mike Hutchings
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