'Voters not worried about suspected rogues on ANC list,' says Paul Mashatile
ANC treasurer-general Paul Mashatile says potential party voters are not worried about the controversy surrounding the ANC's list of parliamentary candidates.
Speaking to TimesLIVE during the party's electoral campaign in Bloekombos outside Cape Town, Mashatile said the people he was wooing to vote for the ANC ahead of the May 8 elections had not raised the issue.
The ANC is for the first time facing objections from the public and other interest groups regarding the calibre of candidates it wants to send to parliament as some of its most senior leaders are embroiled in allegations of corruption and state capture.
Mashatile said the issue was not making election campaigning difficult for the ANC.
"Many of the people on the ground really don't ask about the list. I know that in the newspapers it has been a big issue. I have not found any one person complaining about the list. What we've done as the NEC (national executive committee) is to say because the electoral laws don't prohibit people purely for political morality.
"They look at pure crime and a lot of those people have not been convicted. The issue really is ethics that's why the NEC said let that be handled by the integrity commission of the ANC.
"It's not a short term and it will go on. Even after the election they will continue look at these issues going forward. So yes, we've heard the outcry and we're looking into it," said Mashatile.
The former Gauteng premier, who has also served as art and culture minister, said ANC supporters were instead more concerned with lack of jobs, houses and how the ANC could eliminate the socio-economic problems in their areas.
Touting for votes in a province that is controlled by the DA and has been elusive to the ANC since 2009, Mashatile conceded they were nowhere near ousting the party of Mmusi Maimane.
He however said they were likely to increase their support to more than to 40% in the Western Cape.
"This time around all indications are that we will go up, and we are happy with what we see as almost a change of attitude in voters who are supporting the ANC. So we look good but we need to push harder. In the last election we were about thirty something but think we can push towards the forties. Obviously if we're able to reach the forties and together with other parties we push the DA to below fifty, there can be a likelihood towards a coalition government," said Mashatile.
The ANC money man is spending the weekend garnering votes in the Western Cape.