ANC slams one chicken, one vote councillors

2011-02-01 14:29

Drumsticks, thighs, wings. Lift-off.

It’s an election manifesto with a difference as wannabe councillors find meaty ways to get votes.

In Gauteng, an incumbent councillor in Ekurhuleni has been accused of giving chicken portions and alcohol to buy votes, while rural people in KwaZulu- Natal were given money and alcohol to disrupt a community meeting and vote for their
preferred candidate.

ANC spokesperson Brian Sokuthu warned against this “un-ANC” behaviour, saying it was not the culture and tradition of the party to buy votes. “In fact, buying votes is un-ANC. If these claims are brought to our attention we should be able to investigate them,” Sokutu warned.

Community members are up in arms in ward 60 in Katlehong, Ekurhuleni, over claims that councillor John Thaba gave out chicken packs, money and alcohol to win votes in Sphamandla informal settlement. At least eight community members confirmed the chicken bribe claims.

Thaba would neither confirm nor deny the allegations levelled against him. “You can put it in the newspaper; it is not going to make any difference. I am still going to be a councillor. I can’t say whether they are lying or not,” he said, ending the call.

An employee of a major retail shop in the area said: “People came here with big trolleys and bought all the chicken. There was nothing left.”

A community member warned that councillors are taking advantage of poor people. After Sphamandla residents were fed chicken on the evening of January 8, they were then transported in a truck to a local school where they voted in favour of Thaba, said a source.

An elderly woman said her neighbours received chicken portions. “JT (Thaba) fed these people.” A community leader said the gogo sitting in front of him on voting day unknowingly blurted out the chicken bribe scandal. “I overheard this old woman saying, ‘is he (Thaba) the one who gave us chicken yesterday’. She was not aware that it was supposed to be a secret,” the leader said.

This has infuriated ANC members who said that Thaba works against party guidelines. “He is making us despise the ANC we love so much. The ANC is going to lose this ward if it goes ahead and chooses him to serve as a councillor again,” said an ANC member who lives in the area.

In rural Gcilima, near Margate in KwaZulu-Natal, money and alcohol was also used to try and influence the outcome of the nomination process. “People were given money and alcohol. The purpose was for them to disrupt the meeting and vote for a particular candidate. They tried to corrupt the processes of the ANC but failed,” a community member said.

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