Zuma allies tapped to lead ANC electoral list

11th March 2014, Comments 0 comments

South Africa's ruling African National Congress on Tuesday unveiled its list of candidates for upcoming elections, with President Jacob Zuma loyalists dominating and some prominent critics taking a bow.

The list of 200 parliamentary hopefuls -- which doubles as a tip sheet for who will feature in the next government -- was released ahead of the May 7 general election.

The vote promises to be the toughest electoral challenge yet for a party that has won each election since the end of apartheid in 1994 by a landslide.

Despite deep voter anger with persistent corruption and inequality, supporters of the embattled president won out.

Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe, who challenged Zuma at a recent party conference, is not on the list and has announced his retirement from front line politics.

Neither is Trevor Manuel, a one-time finance minister liked by foreign investors, who has been critical of the government's failure to implement economic reforms in the face of rampant unemployment.

The top of the list is instead dominated by Zuma's allies from his native KwaZulu-Natal province, and those who occupy key positions in the security sector.

The list includes former communications minister Dina Pule, who was dropped from the cabinet after being found guilty of lying to parliament about her boyfriend's state tenders.

State Security Minister Siyabonga Cwele, Zuma's close confidante whose wife was convicted of drug running, is also included.

So too is former provincial minister Humphrey Mmemezi who resigned in 2012 after he bought a painting using a government credit card by masking it as a McDonald's restaurant purchase, the equivalent of around 425 Big Macs.

Senzeni Zokwana, the leader of the National Union of Mineworkers appears alongside many members of the Communist Party, including its leader Blade Nzimande at number eight.

Those calling for more liberal reforms will also take hope from the inclusion of former central bank governor Tito Mboweni, raising speculation that he might replace Pravin Gordhan as finance minister.

Cyril Ramaphosa, the former trade unionist who took part in the negotiations that saw the end of apartheid and then went on to become a top businessman, is Zuma's number two on the list.

He is likely to become deputy president.

© 2014 AFP

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