ROAD TO ELECTIVE CONFERENCE
ANC electoral committee rules still a bone of contention amongst NEC members
The ANC NEC discussed the governing party's new electoral rules in preparation for their national electoral conference at the end of the year, but many members questioned the electoral rules arguing they should align with IEC criteria for members of parliament and provincial legislature
Concerns were raised about some of the ANC’s new electoral rules at the governing party’s virtual NEC meeting held on Tuesday 23 August.
At the meeting, the ANC’s Electoral Committee gave a presentation to the party’s top brass. There were questions raised about some of the rules which will be implemented leading up to the national conference. This is despite the rules having already been rubber-stamped by the NEC.
The NEC largely welcomed the presentation by Electoral Committee Chair Kgalema Motlanthe. However, there was some contestation about the rule prohibiting members who have been imprisoned for at least six months from participating in the leadership race.
ANC insiders told Daily Maverick that the debate was on aligning the rule with that of the Electoral Commission of SA (IEC) which states that party representatives should be excluded from Parliament or provincial legislatures if they have spent a year or more in prison.
The IEC rule states that the rule applies to “anyone who, after 4 February 1997 [the date this section of the Constitution took effect], is convicted of an offence and sentenced to more than 12 months’ imprisonment without the option of a fine, either in SA, or outside SA if the conduct constituting the offence would have been an offence in SA, but no one may be regarded as having been sentenced until an appeal against the conviction or sentence has been determined, or until the time for an appeal has expired. A disqualification under this paragraph ends five years after the sentence has been completed.”
Electoral officers vs branch secretaries
The committee also complained about the role of electoral officers and whether they will take some powers away from branch secretaries.
“They wanted to make sure that the branch secretaries are not marginalised in the process of the electoral officers doing their jobs. It is something that has been looked at and that they should still lead the branch meetings,” according to a source.
The rules stipulate that nominations for the top six and the 80 NEC members will be completed at branch general meetings under the supervision of independent electoral officers. This is to ensure fairness in these gatherings, which sometimes end up being chaotic because of opposing views by members.
Electoral officers will chair the nominations and oversee the vote counting. They will consist of well-trained former MPs and MPLs, former councillors, as well as provincial legal and monitoring team members who have no interest in contesting the elections.
They will undergo training by the Electoral Committee and its agency or staff and be deployed to different regions from the ones where they reside. They will exclude anyone who is or wants to be nominated to be a part of the NEC, Provincial Executive Committee or Regional Executive Committee.
While the nominations must be captured by the two senior branch executive officials present, the electoral officer is given the responsibility of photographing each nomination form with their phone and immediately sending it to the Electoral Commission in case there is a dispute about the validity of a data entry on the ANC system. The branch secretary and chair must then enter the data on the ANC system provided for this purpose.
Paul Mashatile’s occupation of three of ANC top six positions raises concerns at NEC meeting
ANC Treasurer-General Paul Mashatile and his occupation of three of the positions in the party’s top six was another of the issues discussed at the meeting.
There was a suggestion that an acting secretary-general be officially appointed to deal with administrative issues just three months before the governing party’s national conference in December.
In addition to his treasurer-general post, Mashatile has been acting as secretary-general and deputy secretary-general since last year. This followed the illness and death of Jessie Duarte who was heading the secretary-general’s office (SGO) after Ace Magashule was suspended.
An ANC insider explained that some believe that Mashatile should be focusing on his core mandate, which is fundraising for the party, seeing as the organisation has consistently been unable to pay its staff.
Gwen Ramokgopa was brought in by the party in March to beef up the administrative capacity of the SGO. She is the coordinator of preparations for the ANC’s 54th National Elective Conference in December.