The ANC has registered almost 10 000 party candidates for the upcoming local government elections with claims that some of them were fraudulently selected over those elected in party-prescribed community meetings.

Now, in the midst of growing unhappiness, the ANC had promised aggrieved members that they would discipline all senior members found to have manipulated their party candidates lists for the upcoming elections, despite the registration of some of the candidates.

Regardless of the controversy, the ANC announced that the 10 000 were nominated following “rigorous screening and interviews” by the regional interview and vetting panels and the provincial list committees.

Candidates were then presented to extended provincial executive committees.

All these candidates were registered by 9pm on Monday, according to the IEC deadline.

On Monday, various ANC members and regions continued to expose alleged acts of manipulation through social media posts, while others told Independent Media about their ordeal at the hands of alleged vote riggers. Some members continued to write letters to their provincial leaders while others asked influential people in ANC to intervene on their behalf.

One such letter was written by members of the ANC’s Makgatho branch in Midvaal, who asked several Gauteng government employees to help them resolve the irregularities in the nomination process in Ward 8.

A similar request was made to the media. According to the complainants, the ward has a total of 3 989 eligible voters, but only 102 people selected a councillor-elect.

In the Eastern Cape, especially in the OR Tambo region, candidates who allegedly obtained majority votes accused their electoral officers of having overlooked them in favour of those who gained fewer votes.

One of the complainants said he obtained majority support in one of the wards in that region, but was surprised to learn that his opponent was also selected as a councillor-elect.

The complainant, whose name is withheld for security reasons, said: “Surprisingly, when I visited OR Tambo region for submission of certified ID copies, police affidavit and IEC acceptance forms, the comrade I defeated also submitted, but the guidelines are clear that if number one is a male, number two should be a female.”

On Monday, the ANC acknowledged that more males were selected in their community meetings, but said they had to ensure that they place women candidates on their proportional representation list to reach an equitable gender balance.

Admitting skewed gender representation, ANC national spokesperson Pule Mabe said: “Despite the stringent requirement of gender equity, the persistence of patriarchal attitudes meant that the majority of ward councillors nominated are male. To adjust for this, more ANC women candidates form part of our proportional representation list.”

Mabe said the ANC has been consistent in ensuring women’s participation in all the elections, playing a leading role in South Africa’s progress towards gender parity among political representatives across all the spheres of government.

“Unfortunately, progress in achieving gender parity in all representative institutions has been held back by the other political parties, whose lists have consistently been patriarchal,” he said.

In replying to complaints of nomination manipulation, Mabe said channels for managing disputes were an integral part of the ANC candidate selection processes.

“Members or structures can, where necessary, formally raise grievances with the process. Various structures have dealt with appeals and disputes throughout the process, often under tight deadlines imposed by Covid-19 restrictions.

“A number of members have highlighted their disputes at ANC offices, nationally and provincially. The Electoral Committee dispute resolution structures will continue to consider any serious disputes within the prescribed time frames, even after the registration of ANC candidates on Monday this week. Where necessary, matters will be referred to the ANC disciplinary and other structures for action,” Mabe said.

The party said that with regard to the selection of mayoral candidates, regional and provincial structures of the ANC would nominate three names, and these candidates would be interviewed and screened, before the ANC announces all its mayoral candidates.

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