POLITICAL NEWS - The ANC top brass flagged by the party’s integrity committee as “problematic candidates” are going nowhere – because President Cyril Ramaphosa would risk being recalled if he removed them, a political analyst says.
Professor Lesiba Teffo, of the Centre for African Renaissance at Unisa, said that, on top of that, the committee was a “toothless bulldog” that had no final word about who should be removed from party parliamentary list because it was a mere substructure of the national executive committee (NEC).
According to Teffo, the entire integrity episode presented a conundrum for Ramaphosa and could derail his anticorruption drive. If he acted on the committee’s advice, there would be trouble within the party and if he did not there would still be trouble, because investors expect him to act decisively on corruption.
Should Ramaphosa act according to the committee’s report, he risked alienating many members of the NEC, both from his own camp and the Jacob Zuma one, and being recalled by the ANC as president.
“This is a hot potato for the ANC,” Teffo said. “There will be no action against anyone.”
City Press reported yesterday that a host of senior ANC leaders, including Ramaphosa’s allies, such as Deputy President David Mabuza, ministers Gwede Mantashe (mineral resources) and Bheki Cele (police), and aide Zizi Kodwa, had all been flagged by the committee. They were among the 22 ANC candidates the committee had identified as “problematic candidates”.
Others were “known suspects” such as Environmental Affairs Minister Nomvula Mokonyane, ANC Women’s League president Bathabile Dlamini and former home affairs minister Malusi Gigaba.
The paper also reported that Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs Minister Zweli Mkhize and ANC head of elections Fikile Mbalula had been identified as being among wrongdoers that should be cut from the parliamentary list by the NEC.
None of those flagged by the integrity committee, led by struggle stalwart George Mashamba, were given the opportunity to put their side of the story.
Attempts to get comment from ANC national spokesperson Dakota Legoete failed but City Press reported that Mantashe refused to respond to news leaks while Mabuza denied that his name featured on the list.
Teffo said the integrity committee’s decisions could never be final unless the ANC amended its constitution to give it the powers needed to make final decisions.
He said the fact that Ramaphosa was himself implicated in the Bosasa scandal would make it impossible for him to act against those flagged by the committee.
“Ramaphosa has no greater morality than them. He is also as guilty as those that were flagged,” said Teffo. “Also, Cyril would never risk removing Deputy President Mabuza because he brought him to power in the first place.”