Mantashe ready to clear air after poll list removal claim

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Mineral resources minister Gwede Mantashe says he longs to present his side of the story to the ANC’s integrity commission.
This, he said, was if media reports were correct in claiming he was among the 22 election candidates the commission recommended should be removed from party’s election list.
He said, for now, leaking such a list to the media first before those implicated were even made aware was nothing less than character assassination.
Mantashe, in an interview with the Dispatch on Sunday, said: “You can’t lock yourself in a room and say 22 people must be removed. It’s unheard of. You haven’t asked [questions to] anybody.
He was reacting to a City Press report on Sunday which listed him, along with ANC deputy president David Mabuza, NEC members Nomvula Mokonyane, Bathabile Dlamini, Zweli Mkhize, Zizi Kodwa, Fikile Mbalula, Bheki Cele among 22 ANC election candidates whose names have been red flagged by a national integrity commission report.
The City Press story claims the 22 face being removed from the ruling party’s election list.
Mantashe is among ANC leaders implicated in the Zondo Commission hearings on state capture.
Former senior Bosasa staffer Angelo Agrizzi told the commission the company had installed security cameras at the former ANC secretary general’s Cala and Elliot homes. Mantashe has vehemently denied the claims.
He laid into the reports saying: “The fact that it is already leaked to the media before we meet, smacks of a deliberate desire to besmirch our characters. I’d rather wait for the formal processes of the ANC, where they will talk to the integrity commission and ask basic questions.”
He queried why only four of the 22 names had been published in the report.
“You write an article about four people in the ANC – about myself, the deputy president [David Mabuza], Zizi Kodwa and Fikile Mbalula. In a list of 22, which we have not seen. How genuine is that story? Why can’t we look at the 22 names?”
The report comes a few days after the Dispatch reported on a list of names the elections commission had identified after concerned citizens challenged their inclusion on the list of election candidates.
Of the 52 names listed from nine political parties, 30 were from the ANC. However the commission announced last week that only one name, the PAC’s Seropane Alton Mphethi, would be removed from the list of candidates. The IEC ruled in favour of all others, saying everything was above board.
Mantashe questioned why the ANC’s integrity commission would continue to probe anyone further because “all complaints against them have been cleared by the IEC”.
“Then you have an integrity commission, which locks itself in a room and pronounces the removal of 22 people without talking to any one of them.
“I think we’ll deal with that issue when we meet the integrity commission. When we saw the 22 names, we said to the commission: ‘Please come and see us, let’s talk to you’.”
Asked about what will happen next, he said there was an outstanding meeting of the ANC. “The outcome of the meeting will determine the direction. The leaking of that [list] to the media before the [political] process is mischief.”
Kodwa said: “We don’t know of any report.”..

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