Cape Argus

Shun popular but lazy cadres in public office picks


THE ANC must stick to its election manifesto and promises not to appoint questionab­le leaders to public office.

The ruling party met yesterday to dissect its election victory and discuss the names of premier candidates for the eight provinces it has retained.

At the height of its campaign, the ANC promised to appoint to public office men and women who were electable, credible and had no history of wrongdoing, among other criteria.

It is an open secret that the party is divided down the middle in almost all its senior leadership structures.

The public spat between ANC secretary-general Ace Magashule and party election campaign head Fikile Mbalula over whether the ruling party owes its victory solely to President Cyril Ramaphosa, attests to these divisions.

After the ANC’s 57% election victory, Mbalula said the party would have scored less than 50% had Ramaphosa not been in charge.

This prompted a sharp response from Magashule, who dismissed Mbalula’s statement as “nonsense” and insisted the victory belonged to the ANC, not individual­s.

Similar divisions were seen on the eve of the elections when senior leaders such as Gwede Mantashe, Nomvula Mokonyane, Malusi Gigaba and Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula were implicated in the Bosasa scandal. Some of their fellow comrades picked sides or closed ranks with their favourites.

Questionab­le candidates on its election list, the Bosasa scandal, state capture culprits and so forth are expected to be top of the minds of NEC leaders when they debate their candidates for high office. We hope ANC leaders would not seek the easy way out by appointing popular but lazy candidates with no service delivery track record.

They should be guided by objective facts when selecting premiers and Cabinet members rather than factionali­sm. The party’s leadership should also resist the temptation to use these positions to affirm their loyalists or condemn their opponents.

If allegation­s of wrong-doing are used against some candidates while others facing similar charges are affirmed, it would only prove that the hollow promises of rooting out corruption and keeping controvers­ial candidates out of public office are just that. In other words, the NEC must look beyond loyalty to Ramaphosa.

Service delivery track record, experience and commitment to clean governance, among other things, should count.

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