ANC hits back at Public Protector's report
07 May 2016, 13:55
Johannesburg – The ANC has responded to Public Protector Thuli Madonsela’s report released on Thursday on alleged conflation between party and the state regarding the Free State provincial government’s Operation Hlasela.
ANC spokesperson Zizi Kodwa said on Friday: “While we unambiguously accept that state resources should never be utilised to political party campaigning, it is our assertion that this view by the Public Protector is unfortunate.”
Madonsela also released her report into allegations of irregular distribution of South African Social Security Agency (Sassa) food parcels by Julius Malema, the then-ANC Youth League president.
According to an eNCA report Madonsela told the media that her investigations into whether the Free State government abused state resources to advance the election campaign of the ANC during the 2011 municipal elections found “no conclusive evidence” showing abuse or misuse of state resources.
Kodwa said the ANC was extremely concerned about a report in the Mail & Guardian published on Friday, which quoted Madonsela as having said: “When a minister is in an event as a minister, not as a party representative, he or she cannot endorse a particular party.”
Kodwa said: “The ANC urges government to seek a review of the findings and the far-reaching implications of the Public Protector’s report.”
The party said the South African proportional representation electoral system accords that voters vote not for individuals but for political parties.
“The party chooses the individuals that will represent it in Parliament and it is from these Members of Parliament that the majority party selects the members of the national executive in line with Section 91 of the Constitution.
“Cabinet members do not change their allegiance to their political parties or claim to be non-partisan once they are appointed to Cabinet. They are tasked with the implementation of the policies of the governing party; on the basis of which the party was endorsed by the electorate.”
Kodwa said government officials remained deployees and ambassadors of that party wherever they appeared in public.
“It is not inconceivable that in the execution of their tasks they will refer to the successes and challenges of the ANC-led government in which they have been tasked to serve as it is the ANC programme they are driving with its mandate derived from the people.”
Kodwa said the Public Protector's report on the conflation of political party with private interests seems to go against international practice.
“In all governments around the world, there is a dynamic distinction between party political and state interests because the governing party invariably determines policy through the democratic process of government,” said Kodwa.