‘Time for pub­lic to help se­lect ANC MPs’

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - NEWS - PO­LIT­I­CAL BUREAU

THE ANC wants or­di­nary South Africans to help se­lect rul­ing party candidates for na­tional, pro­vin­cial and mu­nic­i­pal leg­is­la­tures, and says its own MPs must ask their cab­i­net col­leagues tough ques­tions.

The party ad­mits that some of its candidates have cost them dearly, be­cause they were not pop­u­lar in the com­mu­ni­ties.

Th­ese pro­pos­als were con­tained in a pa­per pre­sented by ANC sec­re­tary-gen­eral Gwede Man­tashe at the ANC na­tional ex­ec­u­tive com­mit­tee lek­gotla – an ex­panded meet­ing – last week­end.

Man­tashe said the party also needed to look into in­volv­ing non-mem­bers of the ANC in se­lect­ing rul­ing party candidates for Par­lia­ment and pro­vin­cial leg­is­la­tures, adding that this should be ex­per­i­mented with dur­ing next year’s mu­nic­i­pal polls.

Cur­rently, del­e­gated party mem­bers – in­clud­ing the ANC – nom­i­nate candidates for leg­isla­tive lists, and party con­fer­ences are held to se­lect the best candidates.

In gen­eral elec­tions, vot­ers vote only for par­ties. The lat­ter se­lect candidates for Par­lia­ment and pro­vin­cial leg­is­la­tures. But Man­tashe sug­gested that this should be changed.

“The 52nd na­tional con­fer­ences in­structed the cur­rent NEC to strengthen the guide­lines and pro­cesses of se­lect­ing pub­lic rep­re­sen­ta­tives … We must how­ever de­velop a com­pre­hen­sive frame­work for in­volv­ing broader so­ci­ety in the se­lec­tion of ANC candidates. This can be im­ple­mented in the run-up to the 2011 lo­cal gov­ern­ment elec­tions.

Deputy Pres­i­dent Kgalema Mot­lanthe has pre­vi­ously warned the ANC against field­ing in­ap­pro­pri­ate candidates, cit­ing a by-elec­tion in Tem­bisa in which an ANC can­di­date lost to Cope be­cause the rul­ing party can­di­date was not pop­u­lar.

Mean­while, Man­tashe also chal­lenged ANC MPs not to ask sweet­heart ques­tions in Par­lia­ment.

“Dif­fi­cult ques­tions to min­is­ters and MECs should in the main, come from the ANC benches with the in­ten­tion of help­ing ANC de­ploy­ees per­form bet­ter.

“The at­ti­tude that it is a sell­out po­si­tion for ANC pub­lic rep­re­sen­ta­tives to raise th­ese ques­tions is danger­ous to our move­ment,” Man­tashe said.

“Ev­ery chance to com­mu­ni­cate with our peo­ple must be used op­ti­mally,” he said.

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