JOHANNESBURG - The Free State is seen as fertile ground for the controversial Gupta family who have been accused of capturing the state.
Premier Ace Magashule openly declared his friendship with the family and his son's involvement with them.
MarkData and African Response conducted a survey, commissioned by eTV, on the state of the ANC and how the premier has dealt with corruption in the Free State.
Magashule’s government reportedly processed payments for the wedding of a Gupta niece at Sun City with auditing firm, KPMG, in hot water for playing along with the transfer of funds to the Guptas's benefit.
Research on Magashule's handling of corruption in the province shows some ANC members are not happy.
Political analyst Karima Brown says an ANC under Magashule has graft written all over it.
“An ANC that is represented via Ace Magashule is a manifestation of that kind of capture that has been spoken about. What you see here is not just the capture of the state, you actually see the capture of the ANC. There has been a push back, there has been a fight back from within,” she said.
Magasule’s close ally, President Jacob Zuma, does not escape perceived corruption in the province with some voters wanting the president jailed.
Political analyst Ebrahim Fakir believes it is common knowledge Magashule is corrupt.
“People know that the guy is actually corrupt and the faction that he's running is corrupt,” he added.
The politics of patronage also plays a role in the province.
“The Free State, like I said, is a classic example where a governing party has in fact been arranged, manufactured and organised around patronage networks,” Brown said.
Magashule's name appears as ANC Secretary General under the Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma slate, with the Free State nominating him along with the North West and KwaZulu-Natal.