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ANC’s failed promise of renewal — same as it ever was; same as it ever was

ANC’s failed promise of renewal — same as it ever was; same as it ever was
From left: Malusi Gigaba. (Photo: Gallo Images / Sowetan / Alon Skuy) | President Cyril Ramaphosa. (Photo: Gallo Images / Sunday Times / Moeletsi Mabe)

The ANC’s inclusion of several people implicated in State Capture on its list of candidates to represent the party in Parliament raises big questions about what positions they will occupy after the elections and severely weakens the ANC’s claim to be ethical.

The ANC has confirmed that Malusi Gigaba, David Mahlobo, Zizi Kodwa and Cedric Frolick are on the party’s list of candidates to go to Parliament after the 29 May elections. All have findings against them from the State Capture era.

At the same time, it appears that some important figures have been left off the list because they face criminal charges (this will only become clear once the national and provincial lists are released by the Electoral Commission).

For the moment, the focal point is those against whom findings of corruption have been made and who are known to have been included on the list, mainly because it is assumed that they will return to Parliament for the ANC after the elections.

However, it is not certain they will go to Parliament.

In 2009, Winnie Madikizela-Mandela was included on the party’s lists but did not take a seat. Neither did Dina Pule, who was included on the lists in 2014. 

But, if they do return to Parliament, a much bigger question is whether they will be appointed to important positions.

Let’s look at Gigaba.

The Zondo Commission found that he allegedly received cash payments during visits to the Gupta compound and should be investigated for corruption.

But before these findings, Gigaba had to resign from Cabinet. While much of the attention at the time focused on an unfortunate solo video he made, more important was the high court finding that he had lied under oath (his resignation was sparked by the Constitutional Court’s refusal to hear an appeal against that finding).

‘Ethical standards’

In his Monday briefing on the ANC’s lists, the party’s secretary-general, Fikile Mbalula, was at pains to point out that the lists showed “our commitment to uphold ethical standards and hold our members accountable”.

It is difficult to see how including a liar on these lists can be squared with that commitment.

It was also claimed over the weekend that the ANC could have faced legal action by those omitted from the lists who had not been criminally charged.

It is hard to imagine a candidate for a position in a bank — or any other business, for that matter — going to court if they were not appointed because a finding of dishonesty had been made against them.

No company or reputable organisation would appoint to an important job a person legally proven to be a liar.

And yet it has become routine for such people to be appointed to positions in the ANC and the government, as well as at other political parties.

If a board were to make such an appointment, the shareholders would revolt (it is of course true that CEOs have committed fraud; Markus Jooste is a good example of this. But he committed the fraud after being appointed, not before. And there is always an exception: Tiger Brands appointed a CEO who had previously been disciplined over the bread price-fixing scandal.)

Then there is the question of what would happen should Gigaba end up in the new Parliament. Could he be appointed to Cabinet? After having to resign for lying? Can someone suddenly “un-lie”?

And what position could he occupy where trust is not an issue? Would President Cyril Ramaphosa have to push him into the Ministry of Arts and Culture, the well-known Siberia posting in the ANC government? Surely the good people in that sector have suffered enough


Within all of this is yet another dilemma for the ANC.

Several of the party’s leaders have been quoted in recent days as suggesting that those involved in State Capture had left the ANC and joined the uMkhonto Wesizwe (MK) party.

Can they continue to make such a claim when Gigaba is on their parliamentary list?

This will surely allow other parties to argue that there is very little difference between the wrongdoing of candidates on the ANC’s list and those on MK’s list.

For example, is there any difference between the wrongdoing of the ANC’s Gigaba (who acted for the Guptas while minister of public enterprises and of home affairs) and MK’s Des van Rooyen (who was installed as finance minister in 2015 with two Gupta-linked advisers)?

Could both of these people be back in Parliament in June?

If that is the case, it would show there is something fundamentally wrong with our politics. It would show that people proven to have committed wrongdoing can still be elected to represent voters in Parliament.

It would be a powerful sign that the ANC’s renewal is an electoral smokescreen and that nothing will change should it retain power. Until lists of only clean candidates are approved by the ruling party, voters will believe that nothing will change. 

Same as it ever was. Same as it ever was. DM


Comments - Please in order to comment.

  • Lysergic Acid says:

    All citizens should reflect on how we allowed these criminals to rape and pillage our home. Is this what we deserve? Or can we rally as a nation and excommunicate every last one of these thugs from our society? This mental slavery has to stop.

    • Matt Simon says:

      Well it is the majority of people that they have been kept uneducated, and beholden to the ANC via grant system, that has ensured that this has been going on.
      When the sheeple are poor and hungry, honesty and ethics flys out the window.

      • William Dryden says:

        I totally agree with your comments Matt, as long as the ANC promise more handouts and bigger grants, the uneducated sheep will keep on following them.

  • Dr Know says:

    Maybe Gigaba should join up with our famous Mthondo we Sizwe, JZ. They could do a winning TikTok video together, like a muppet show using bald puppets.

  • Steve Davidson says:

    But the sheep will still vote for them. Pathetic.

    • D'Esprit Dan says:

      Much like the apartheid sheep, despite the writing being on the wall for decades! To say nothing of the appalling criminality of apartheid.

    • Malcolm McManus says:

      Same as it ever was, same as it will always be. Such is our version of democracy. Its beyond comprehension.

    • District Six says:

      I honestly don’t think white people can be pointing fingers at anyone. 1948-1994… “the sheep” voted and voted and voted. None of you have the moral high ground. Except, of course, that no one ever “voted for apartheid,” fought its border war and occupation of Namibia, or assassinated opponents across the world and locally. Sorry bud, no moral high ground there.

      • drew barrimore says:

        In today’s post-truth world the concept of ‘moral high ground’ is about as Victorian as it gets.

        • Adriaan Lategan says:

          Sorry to burst your bubble, but there never was an “ante-truth” world. Today we are just exposed to a diversity of delusions that differ from our own. When was truth truly embraced by a critical, sceptical and open society? Not even in ancient Greece

      • Kanu Sukha says:

        Amongst them are the defenders of the genocidal apartheid state of Israel … in which two convicted criminals (by Israeli courts !) are now senior members of that parliament ! Its sponsor … the US features a nominee for the presidency … who is a known and convicted fraudster and who tried to overturn an election ! Wonderful examples for us to look up to … according to some.

  • Jacci Babich says:

    They say a government is only as good as the people who elect them. It is a terrifying thought that anyone could be so biased, ignorant or brain washed that they can still vote for destroyers such as the ANC or the EFF! Can they not see the self centered dishonesty, corruption and greed that positively oozes out of so many of the members? Are they all hangers-on for meal tickets? Are they so distanced from the desperate poverty caused by the destruction of virtually every state owned enterprise? The ruin of so many towns and cities run by incompetent cadres earning huge salaries, siphoning money off every deal and grabbing every perk? Unless things start to be run by professionals employed for their expertise for the good of South Africa as a whole, South Africa is going nowhere.

  • Brian Doyle says:

    Crooks supporting crooks. So much for the renewal in the ANC. A leopard does not change its spots, and with the latest polls you would think the ANC would wake up to the fact that they will lose out big time in the elections with their support of corrupt members

  • Hilary Morris says:

    Time to return to constituency voting, rather than allowing parties to decide who will be allowed to go to parliament

    • Greeff Kotzé says:

      Agreed. I used to think that it stifles democracy (because first-past-the-post voting pushes towards becoming a two-party state) but being governed via a list seems to have even more drawbacks.

      If we could have constituencies with run-off elections, it would be perfect. (Instant run-off voting, like in Australia for example, would be more efficient, but also more complex for the voter.)

  • Beyond Fedup says:

    So let Gigaba and all these scoundrels go to court and see how far they get. They will be sent packing! Where there is a will, there is a way, but as we know from the hideous anc, it is all about theft, corruption, self-service and protecting their own. Hot air as usual, but no action!!

  • L T. says:

    This is just the latest example of the moral and ethical corruption of the ANC. People who vote for them are either part of that corruption or woefully ignorant.

  • Geoff Coles says:

    Wash, rinse and repeat!

  • Kgabo Molosi says:

    All of them, including Mbalula lied in parliament to protect JZ. For him to say ethics and ANC in one sentence shows how much they really don’t care about what anyone else thinks of them

  • André Pelser says:

    The integrity committee bared of it’s pretensions to act in the best interests of the nation.

  • John Patson says:

    The party list system is fundamentally undemocratic and removes power from the people and gives it to the parties.
    South Africa is not alone — look at some of the very dodgy members of the European Parliament who get elected to term after term because they are always on the party list.
    If they had to stand on their own names and records, few would make it.
    For those who want proportional representation there are alternatives, extra seats in named constituencies once parties break a threshold level, for example — as long as the seats go to candidates who stood under their own names in the election.

  • Malcolm Mitchell says:

    Well said, but which Grootes is this The DM one or the SABC one? They give different messages. How does the saying go? “If you can be true to yourself….

  • Lisbeth Scalabrini says:

    It always comes down to the same: If the NPA and the police had done what they were supposed to do, all of this would not happen!

  • Roger Sheppard says:

    It has become clear from Mayor Pappas’ isiZulu writings and Watsapp broadcasts that the ANC electorate have not a clue, still, of what the Zondo Commission was all about – who did what, who did nothing, who ran tenders, who laundered money, who was involved in an “Arms Deal”(”what’s that” I have heard more than once!) etc etc. A doorpost cannot listen, but, the ANC electorate was not allowed to hear, was not to be told!

  • Skinyela Skinyela says:

    It is not true that Winnie Mandela did not become an MP in 2009.

    She served as MP from 2009-2018.

    Remember an Era when she was accused of not attending.

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