Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Another White-Dominated Party Attacks Winnie Madikizela-Mandela's Candidacy on the ANC Ticket

CAPE TOWN 17 March 2009 Sapa


The DA said on Tuesday it has asked the Independent Electoral
Commission (IEC) and the ANC to remove Winnie Madikizela-Mandela from the ruling party's election list because of her fraud conviction.

The formal complaint by the Democratic Alliance follows one by the Freedom Front Plus on Monday, just after the IEC published the provisional elections list in newspapers to give the public time to lodge objections.

At issue is the popular African National Congress veteran's
three-and-a-half year suspended sentence for fraud, handed down on appeal in 2004.

The Constitution disqualifies anybody who was sentenced to more than a year in prison without the option of a fine from holding a seat in Parliament or a provincial legislature until five years after the sentence has been "completed".

The DA said since Madikizela-Mandela's sentence would only lapse in July, she is not eligible for a seat in the National Assembly, though the ANC put her at number five on its list.

"The DA therefore objects to Ms Madikizela-Mandela's nomination on the grounds that her suspended sentence has not yet lapsed and she therefore does not qualify to serve as a member of Parliament," party chairman James Selfe said.

The ANC has argued that because Madikizela-Mandela never actually went to jail, the constitutional provision does not disqualify her from returning to Parliament after the April 22 elections.

Legal experts have warned that should the IEC accept her nomination, it was likely to be challenged, possibly even in the Constitutional Court.

Selfe said it was "quite extraordinary" that the ANC had failed to remove the ex-wife of former president Nelson Mandela and former ANC Women's League president from its election list, and left the IEC to deal with the fallout.

"However, it is unsurprising that the ANC [is] hell-bent on
proceeding with her nomination despite her criminal record," he added.

"The ANC's top 100 candidates on its list for Parliament is littered with individuals with a record of some form of corruption."

Selfe said the most notable example was ANC leader Jacob Zuma, who is fighting corruption charges linked to the arms deal.

He also singled out five other candidates, all almost certain to get a seat in the National Assembly because they are in the top 100 on the ANC's list, who were embroiled in the Travelgate scam.

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