Cape Town – Cosatu has warned the ANC that it might lose votes in the upcoming general elections if it insists on keeping tainted leaders in its parliamentary lists processes.
On Tuesday, the federation addressed the media following its special central executive committee meeting, which was held on Monday.
The meeting discussed Cosatu’s upcoming national strike scheduled for next week and the campaign for the ANC ahead of the elections, among other issues.
Cosatu president Zingiswa Losi complained that the number of ANC leaders who were eager to approach the Zondo Commission of Inquiry into State Capture to prove their innocence had decreased since the explosive revelations of alleged criminality were made there.
Losi said the ANC had a duty to uphold its resolutions on ethical leadership by dealing with those who were implicated.
“(At) the Nasrec conference of the ANC, the conference agreed that the integrity of the organisation must be protected (against) anyone who is tainted in corruption, and particularly those individuals that have failed to come out and say ‘I want to state my case,’” Losi said.
She said the ANC could suffer electoral setbacks if it continued to keep tainted individuals on its lists of representatives, especially those who had failed to respond to the allegations against them.
“Now we are going to elections. When your name gets mentioned… and you are not saying anything, you are leaving us, and particularly the voters, to believe that what is said about you has the potential of being correct.”
If those implicated in corruption had any intention of clearing their names, “the least you can do is to protect the integrity of the organisation, because voters out there do not make a difference between whether you are guilty or not, and we understand and respect the rule of law that you are presumed innocent until you are proven otherwise”.
The leaders included Environmental Affairs Minister Nomvula Mokonyane and ANC MP Vincent Smith, who are accused of being among top politicians who received monthly bribes from controversial facilities management company Bosasa.
Losi said opposition parties would use the ANC’s tainted list in their campaigns ahead of the elections.
The ANC leadership has made it clear that it will not remove those implicated in corruption without proof of wrongdoing being provided.
The party said its list for parliamentary candidates would be subjected to a vetting process.
Cosatu deputy president Mike Shingange said the federation was assisting the vetting process by calling for tainted individuals to be taken off the list.
“The list that the ANC must emerge with is the list that must make the ANC… electable, and it is the list that must make the ANC government function well; so the names that appear in the state capture (inquiry) and every other inquiry will not make the ANC easily electable.”