ANC vs ANC for May 18 election

2011-03-26 17:45

ANC dissidents are likely to stand as independent candidates in four provinces in the local election, setting a massive poser for the governing party, according to City Press research across the country.

In KwaZulu-Natal ANC dissidents are understood to have fielded about 15 candidates as ward councillors in the eThekwini Metro and another eight in the Pietermaritzburg-based Umsunduzi municipality, where several communities this week protested the final choice of candidates by the ruling party.

The KwaZulu-Natal ANC has fielded a total of 828 candidates in the province’s 61 municipalities.

The revolt over lists is so serious that on Friday night the ANC provincial ­executive decided to deploy all its leaders this weekend to “heal the divisions at branch level’’.

“All provincial leaders will go to the branches which are hotspots to talk to our members and convince them to rally around the ANC candidates who have made the list,’’ provincial ANC spokesperson Makhosi Khoza said.

A senior ANC provincial leader told City Press the party might have to work with independents after the elections in areas where municipalities were hung.

The ANC in the Eastern Cape just about met the Independent Electoral Commission’s Friday deadline despite the fact that party members from all eight ­regions had lodged 279 appeals about the list process.

The party faced two court cases in ­Mthatha and Grahamstown on Friday. The party could face independents in this heartland province as well.

In Gauteng’s Tshwane an estimated 20 councillors are understood to be contesting the elections as independent candidates, mainly in the 76 ANC-run wards.

In Tembisa township ANC branch chairperson Alex Mashilo said he was contesting elections independently in his ward after being overlooked by the party.

In Mpumalanga disgruntled Ermelo residents threatened to boycott the ­upcoming municipal elections after they found out that the ward councillor the ANC had picked for them was not the one they wanted.

About 75 placard-waving protesters ­arrived at the ANC Mpumalanga headquarters in Nelspruit on Friday to lodge a complaint against the Gert Sibande ANC regional leadership’s decision to ­appoint Johannes Mabasa as a candidate councillor for Wesselton township’s ward 5.

In February the township’s residents went on the rampage after accusing the regional leadership of imposing Mfanimpela “Mpe” Nkosi as ward councillor. They wanted Bongani Phakathi instead.

This stand-off has led to tension ­between the camps of Premier David Mabuza and Mbombela executive mayor Lassy Chiwayo.

The pro-Mabuza regional leadership preferred Nkosi while Chiwayo’s supporters wanted Phakathi.

The party’s Gert Sibande regional secretary, Muzi Chirwa, conceded that the community had not been consulted about Mabasa’s nomination and that his name had been submitted to the IEC.

The candidate list process in Mpumalanga has been marred by sporadic ­protests.

On Wednesday disgruntled ANC ­members and residents of Nkomazi’s ward 15 and ward 19 picketed outside the Ehlanzeni regional executive committee offices in Nelspruit.

Last month 10 Nkomazi branches went to Luthuli House to complain to secretary-general Gwede Mantashe about the manipulation of processes.

In Nkangala more than 10 branches lodged complaints about imposed candidate councillors. Branches in Delmas also staged sporadic marches. A source from the ANC in the region said the province had not bothered to respond.

“The people that were eventually ­nominated don’t reflect the wishes of branches and communities. Independent councillors will emerge as many disgruntled ­comrades are rumoured to be standing alone,” he said.

In the Northern Cape there has been ­unrest in De Aar and Postmasburg over the lists.

Provincial ANC secretary Zamani Saul said: “In the nature of the process, there will be people who are unhappy. There’s a high level of contestation and you can’t make everybody happy.”

National ANC spokesperson and ­national executive committee member Jackson Mthembu slammed ANC members who took the party to court and those who resorted to violence.

“It’s a new tendency. It’s very alien,” he said. “It has been a taxing process, so you can expect mistakes to happen.”

Mthembu said the ANC would investigate how ordinary ANC members were able to fund expensive court process against the party.

“Where do people in Ntabankulu and ­Bizana get R1?million to go to the high court?” he asked.

He said the party was “delighted” that it had met the Friday deadline for submission of the candidate list despite attempts by some people to “subvert democracy in the ANC”.

He warned ANC members against ­becoming independent candidates.

“Once they do that they automatically remove themselves from the party. How can you be an independent and still be an ANC member? How on earth does that happen? We just say bye-bye to them,” he said.

The ruling party is contesting all 4?277 wards and competing for 9?086 seats countrywide.


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