When Cyril Ramaphosa took over as president of South Africa last year, he spoke of the need to clean out the corruption that had tainted the almost nine-year rule of his predecessor, Jacob Zuma, and make the government more accountable.
A partial list of candidates the ruling African National Congress plans to send to parliament after elections in May shows the party hasn’t embraced that vision.
Included at the 10th position on the list of 107 of the ANC’s nominee lawmakers is Nomvula Mokonyane, who was blamed for wrecking South Africa’s water infrastructure while minister of that department and was implicated in taking bribes in testimony given to a judicial commission set up to probe graft.
In 14th place is Bathabile Dlamini, who was found to have committed perjury by South Africa’s Constitutional Court and oversaw the chaos in South Africa’s $10 billion per year welfare system that came within a whisker of failing to give pensioners and the disabled their monthly grants.
Payments only went ahead following the intervention of the Constitutional Court after a case was filed by human rights activists.
Also making the cut is Malusi Gigaba, the former home affairs and finance minister linked to members of the Gupta family, who stand accused of colluding with government officials to loot billions of rand from the state.
He resigned from the cabinet in November after a court found he’d lied under oath and a compromising video of him was circulated on social media.
Mokonyane, Dlamini, Gigaba and the Guptas all deny wrongdoing. Ace Magashule, the ANC’s secretary-general, told reporters that the party can’t exclude members from its lists on the basis of allegations that haven’t been proven in court.
While the argument could be made that the individuals need to be included on the list because of their popularity within the party’s rank and file, their presence is providing fodder for the opposition.
“These are individuals who belong in prison, not parliament. They orchestrated the capture of our state, killed our economy and subjected our people to even further despair,” Solly Matlatsi, spokesman for the Democratic Alliance, South Africa’s biggest opposition party, said in a statement.
“It reaffirms the fact that Cyril Ramaphosa’s supposed new dawn was nothing more than a farce.”