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ANC’s NEC nomination list peppered with young(ish) contenders, controversial characters and RET leaders

ANC’s NEC nomination list peppered with young(ish) contenders, controversial characters and RET leaders
From left: Andile Lungisa. (Photo: Gallo Images / Daily Maverick / Felix Dlangamandla) | Malusi Gigaba. (Photo: Gallo Images / Sharon Seretlo) | Mduduzi Manana. (Photo: Gallo Images / Phill Magakoe)

The ANC National Executive Committee nomination list is topped by fairly young ANC leaders — some with questionable pasts.

ANC Electoral Committee chair Kgalema Motlanthe officially announced the nominees for the National Executive Committee (NEC), the party’s highest decision-making body between conferences.

Former ANC KwaZulu-Natal chair Sihle Zikalala made a big comeback, having been the most nominated by ANC branches, with 1,447 votes. This comes after a ruthless defeat in his bid to serve as a provincial leader for a third term, and not garnering enough support to be a part of the provincial executive. 

Others who are in the top 10 most popular ANC leaders include former ANC Gauteng chair David Makhura, the organisation’s Renewal Commission chair Thoko Didiza, former youth leader Ronald Lamola and SA Communist Party second general secretary David Masondo.

Read more in Daily Maverick: “Zweli Mkhize clinches enough nominations to contest Cyril Ramaphosa for top ANC position

However, it is the likes of NEC members Malusi Gigaba and Mduduzi Manana who stand out because of their controversial backgrounds. 

Besides being embroiled in a sex scandal, Gigaba was mentioned in the second part of the Zondo Commission report as being at the centre of weakening governance processes at Denel and enabling State Capture at the once high-flying state-owned arms company. This was in 2012 during his tenure as public enterprises minister.

Gigaba was said to have been a regular visitor at the infamous Gupta family compound in Saxonwold and was found to have put pressure on former Denel CEO Riaz Saloojee to channel the company’s lucrative tenders to an entity linked to members of the Gupta family.

Manana was at the centre of controversy for assaulting a woman at a nightclub in 2017 — which he later apologised for.

In another incident, he was alleged to have abused his domestic worker, Christine Wiro, and subsequently stepped down from his position as an MP. This was after the National Prosecuting Authority could not bring a case against him.

The ANC’s head of elections, Fikile Mbalula, was accused of having been sponsored by Sedgars Sport for a trip to Dubai, along with his family, last year. Mbalula was minister of sport and recreation at the time of this trip, while the company that sponsored him was doing business with the South African Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee (Sascoc). 

Former Nelson Mandela Bay councillor Andile Lungisa is 10th on the list despite the Eastern Cape Provincial Executive Committee announcing this week that he had been suspended.

Lungisa faced the ANC’s Provincial Disciplinary Committee after being charged with violating Rule 25.17.2. of the party’s constitution. The charges relate to his criminal record for smashing a glass jug on an opposition party member’s head six years ago.

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Meanwhile, the party’s deputy president, David Mabuza, did not even make the top 100 list and featured at number 115, while NEC member Pravin Gordhan was not even nominated.  

This can be seen as a double blow for Mabuza, who did not feature on the party’s ballot to be re-elected as the deputy president. However, he can still align support and be elected from the floor.

Read more in Daily Maverick: “ANC NEC candidates ordered to divulge all election campaign financial details

Speaking to the media at the briefing, held at the ANC headquarters, Motlanthe said this was not the final list. The list of 200 candidates could potentially change over time. 

“This list is a work in progress because the vetting process is ongoing and therefore it may change. If any of those names do not meet criteria as spelt out in the rules, including the constitution of the ANC, those names will with no doubt be disqualified,” said Motlanthe.

The ANC will elect its leadership at its national conference between 16 and 20 December — 80 NEC members will also be voted in. DM



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