ANC ensures Nkosazana tops its list
The ANC’s national candidates’ list was reshuffled at the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) this week, forcing six potential ANC MPs to take their places behind presidential hopeful Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma. This is to ensure that she will be considered first in the event of a vacancy in Parliament.
The former chairperson of the African Union (AU) Commission has been unemployed since leaving her post at the end of January. She was bumped up to the top spot on the ANC’s national list earlier this month as part of the reshuffle, which came into effect on September 7.
On the ANC’s national list, submitted to the IEC ahead of the May 2014 general elections, Dlamini-Zuma was candidate number 150.
Those elections were held while Dlamini-Zuma was serving her tenure at the AU headquarters in Addis Ababa. Only 117 ANC MPs from that list were sworn in as members of the National Assembly in May 2014.
The Electoral Act makes provision for political parties to review and amend their candidates’ lists, but this can only happen a year after the day of the elections and once in annual sessions after that.
During its first opportunity to amend the lists in September 2015, the ANC amended only the Free State regional list and quietly brought in Mosebenzi Zwane from that province’s legislature to the National Assembly. Three weeks later, in a shock move, he was appointed the mineral resources minister.
A year later, the party rejigged its lists again by bringing in, among others, Mondli Gungubele, the former mayor of Ekurhuleni who lost his mayoral chair to Mzwandile Masina after last year’s local government elections.
During the September 2016 list review, Dlamini-Zuma became number 16 on the national list.
The ANC’s reviewed lists of candidates appears in the latest Government Gazette, published on September 13.
Dlamini-Zuma has skipped ahead of six ANC MPs, who occupied places above her on both the 2014 and 2016 lists. Among the six MPs is Nelson Mandela Bay councillor Andile Lungisa, who has no qualms about being overlooked.
“I don’t have an issue with the list of the ANC,” he said. “The lists are managed by the ANC leadership. I respond to whatever direction the movement is sending me. I take the command from the ANC commanders.”
For a candidate to be deployed to Parliament, an MP must resign to make way for the redeployed person. And, for the person to be redeployed, they must be next in line on the lists submitted to the IEC ahead of elections.
“The party has the prerogative to change or review its lists in the manner it wants to,” explained Masibulele Xaso, secretary to the National Assembly.
The ANC has also gazetted North West’s regional list, on which former Rustenburg mayor Matthew Wolmarans, whose murder conviction was overturned in 2014, is the next candidate in line from that province.
He is expected to be sworn in, alongside Dlamini-Zuma, and fill the vacancy left by former Eskom chief executive Brian Molefe, who had a short stint in Parliament this year.
Meanwhile, President Jacob Zuma’s speculated Cabinet reshuffle may be on hold as Parliament went on recess this week without Dlamini-Zuma being sworn in as an MP. Parliamentary work will resume early next month. While there is nothing stopping Dlamini-Zuma from being sworn in during the recess, City Press has learnt that this is not common practice. The swearing-in of MPs may take place in the House or in the office of National Assembly Speaker Baleka Mbete or that of her deputy.
News of Dlamini-Zuma’s deployment to Parliament has fuelled speculation that Zuma would appoint her into his executive because of her seniority in the party. But she has to be an MP before she can be appointed to Cabinet.
Parliamentary spokesperson Moloto Mothapo said a date had not yet been set for the latest swearing-in ceremony. He added that Mbete would – at her earliest convenience and after taking into consideration the availability of the nominees – determine the date.
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