Sunday Observer : 2019-01-06

FEATURES : 24 : 24


FEATURES SundayObserver 24 January 6, 2019 ANC ANC national list conference underway despite North West list outstanding members who have not been found guilty of criminal wrongdoing by a court of law will be allowed to remain on the party list, including those who have matters pending before court. Addressing the media on the sidelines of the party’s national list conference, which is doubling up as an extended sitting of its national executive committee, deputy secretary-general Jessie Duarte said the party could not act against those who were “perceived” to be involved in any wrongdoing. Responding to a question about perceptions around some individuals returning to or being deployed to Parliament with a cloud hanging over their heads, particularly in an election year, Duarte said: “Where there is no criminal judgment, where a person hasn’t been judged criminally and there is no decision by a judge which says you are found guilty of X,Y and Z, and you are sentenced, there is very little we can do in terms of the broader perspective which might emerge around the individuals because I think that is making a judgement outside of a court and there are already individuals who have chosen not to be on the list. “But I think I understand where you are coming from and I think it is only fair to say that where people are criminally charged in a court of law, definitely those matters are taken quite seriously and discussed in that room today,” Duarte said. “It is a subjective issue and it depends on your own personal view point, but all those matters will be discussed.” The extended sitting, which includes national office bearers of the ANC’s alliance partners, will wrestle with names which appear on the national list. Arguments will be made for and against individuals being placed higher up or lower down on the list. “At this level we try to seek consensus on the final list for the ANC’s national- tonational list for the National Assembly and also for the provincial-to-national list, [as well as] people who serve in the national council of provinces and all the legislatures in the nine provinces. “What we look for here is demographic representation and gender parity, which is quite important. We also are going to be making sure that the ANC’s national democratic revolutionary gains are in fact represented in the people who will be on this list. In other words, a truly non-racial list will have to be the outcome of the discussion that we have here today. What will ultimately happen is that we will end the list at 200 for the National Assembly. There have already been 800 names put forward. What happens now is that the people with the highest number of votes tallied across the country, who make it into the top 25% of the list, those names remain untouched. Below that we begin to discuss what the needs are of the ANC in the various parliaments. We look at skills and we look at experience. We want to be able to retain 50% to 60% of people with experience who have been in Parliament and legislature before.” Duarte did not rule out the list conference being challenged in a court of law. The embattled North West will host its list conference on Saturday, even though the national one is already under way. This, however, could lead to a legal challenge later on. “Because we live in a democracy, anything is challengeable. But we believe that we have run the process fairly, fairly openly and fairly transparent. In fact, the Western Cape had to have rerun because we weren’t satisfied that they had followed all the guidelines. Similarly this is why the North West is doing it this way.” She said the outcomes of tomor- row’s conference in the North West won’t have a great impact on the national-to-national list. “It could marginally change people’s numbers on the list, depending on whether there are people already on the list that will now go on to the North West list, which is sitting tomorrow. They might have to be reassigned, but the main bulk of the list won’t change. The North West will focus on the legislature in the North West. It is unfortunate that the situation has unfolded in the North West as it has.” By Lisa Mongelli “ PRINTED AND DISTRIBUTED BY PRESSREADER +1 604 278 4604 . . . . . ORIGINAL COPY ORIGINAL COPY ORIGINAL COPY ORIGINAL COPY ORIGINAL COPY ORIGINAL COPY COPYRIGHT AND PROTECTED BY APPLICABLE LAW

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