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Will ANC national executive committee adopt report red-flagging Mantashe, Mabuza ahead of May 8 polls?

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Will ANC national executive committee adopt report red-flagging Mantashe, Mabuza ahead of May 8 polls?

15th April 2019

By: News24Wire

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The African National Congress's (ANC's) National Executive Committee (NEC) is unlikely to adopt a report by the party's integrity commission which red-flagged at least two of the top senior officials as problematic candidates on the organisation's party lists, NEC sources have told News24. 

News24 understands the ANC top six has found itself in a tough spot after the commission found that Deputy President David Mabuza and ANC chairperson Gwede Mantashe, among others, will have to step down from the party lists.

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The top six has been mulling over the report for over a week, a well placed source told News24.

News24 was the first to report the integrity commission had concluded its review of the national and provincial lists to head to the National Assembly and provincial legislatures. 

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This move by the NEC was sparked after the party fielded widespread criticism over dozens of candidates on its lists.

In its own ranks, party stalwarts called upon those implicated in corruption and other forms of wrongdoing to step aside. 

The report was concluded last Monday and sent back to the NEC, commission chair George Mashamba told News24 last week. 

City Press reported on Sunday that among those red-flagged are Nomvula Mokonyane, Bathabile Dlamini, Zizi Kodwa and Bheki Cele

Two sources in the NEC told News24 it was unlikely the report would be adopted. This despite two weeks of reassurance by the ANC's top brass that the findings will be binding.

"There is no way that we will allow for comrades DD (Mabuza) and Mantashe to be removed from the list. It would have huge implications for the ANC and that will not be allowed by the NEC," one source told News24.

Another source in the NEC said he found it curious that party secretary general, Ace Magashule, has made it to the list, especially in light of recent revelations of alleged corruption and state capture during his time as Free State premier.

"Here we have someone who is making headlines. There is a book circulating about this unscrupulous character. Why will we adopt recommendations that will ensure that the party is disunited? There are questions that need to be answered. Why were these individuals not given a chance to state their case? That report must go back to the commission."

The claims against Magashule were revealed by journalist Pieter-Louis Myburgh in his book Gangster State: Unravelling Ace Magashule's web of state capture.

Mashamba spoke to News24 on Sunday, saying the commission would not change its findings.

Mashamba refused to confirm if Mabuza and Mantashe were red-flagged, only saying if there was an outcry: "It is the NEC's responsibility to look into it."

"We have done our job," Mashamba said. 

News24 understands the commission has been summoned to Luthuli House on Monday to answer for its findings. 

The ANC top six is expected to meet with the commission this week, the NEC source said. 

Mashamba denied this saying there was no communication by the top six for a meeting. 

"We have not heard anything of any meeting. Like I said, we have concluded our part, it's not up to the NEC," Mashamba said.

In an interview with News24 two weeks ago, Mantashe said he would step down if the commission made that determination. At the time, he said the commission would make the final ruling on who should step down.

"The integrity commission can make rulings that certain individuals should step aside. However, it must not take decisions because there is this noise in the media. It must look into merits and demerits of the content of the issues," he said.

Mantashe told News24 that positions on the list did not guarantee party officials a Cabinet post.

"The Cabinet is not appointed in terms of where you are on the list. Your position on the list doesn't guarantee you a Cabinet seat. It's not the top 10 that goes to the Cabinet; it's people that the president wants to have in his Cabinet. A Cabinet that will be reduced. That commitment still stands," he said.

Mantashe added that the ANC was serious about taking into account the views of the public.

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