ANC members in court for post-election violence

2011-05-24 11:31

About 60 residents, mostly ANC members, are appearing in the Mbizana Magistrates Court today for public violence and intimidation after post-election violence in the small Pondoland town in Eastern Cape.

Police arrested 59 residents after they vandalised and looted shops, according to spokesperson Captain Mlungisi Matidane.

Local ANC leader Eric Vukeka said nine protesters were injured and taken to the St Patrick’s Hospital in Mbizana after being shot with rubber bullets.

Residents told City Press that they had not been able to buy electricity since last week when the protests started.

Outgoing Mbizana mayor Makhaya Twabu confirmed that the municipality has not sold electricity since last Friday due to the protests.

Matidane said the protesters had earlier blocked the Mbizana local municipality offices but took their protest to the central business district.

“They closed stores (including the local Shoprite, Boxer supermarkets and a doctor’s surgery) and emptied rubbish bins,” Matidane said.

Twabu said vendors’ goods were also looted.

“The protests started after last week’s municipal elections,” Vukeka, the ANC chairperson in ward 28, said.

“We don’t want the elected councillors,” he said.

The ANC won all 31 wards in the municipality but some members and residents believe the process was rigged.

Vukeka said newly elected ward-28 councillor Madayisa Dimane was not a resident of the ward.

He accused the councillors of “electing themselves”.

“There’s the same problem in all 31 wards,” he said.

Outgoing mayor Twabu said the protests started when ward-11 ANC members objected to candidate Zandile Nohiya, apparently their second choice.

They were persuaded by the Eastern Cape ANC provincial elections task team to vote last Wednesday, according to Twabu.

“On Monday, independent candidates who stood against the ANC joined the protests,” he said.

Twabu said the matter has been reported to the ANC provincial office.

ANC Eastern Cape spokesperson Mlibo Qoboshiyane could not be reached for comment.

 

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