Headline-hogging ANC councillors dumped

2011-05-28 18:26

What do a yellow Hummer, a ­funeral and T-shirts have in common?

They got three ward councillors into the headlines for all the wrong reasons – and may have contributed to their downfall.

Blundering councillors Freedom “Yellow Hummer” Sotshantsha of Sweetwaters, Johannesburg; Elvis “anti-DA T-shirts” Mashile of Bushbuckridge and Jabu “funeral campaigning” Hlophe of Ermelo have been dumped by the ANC.

» Sotshantsha became infamous for driving a bright yellow Hummer SUV amid the abject poverty and lack of basic services of the Sweetwaters informal settlement, south of Johannesburg.

He said despite being nominated for re-election by the community, the ANC dropped his name in favour of another cadre after initially confirming his candidacy.

He claimed he was pushed out by regional leaders because of perceptions that he was loyal to Gauteng Premier Nomvula Mokonyane, a rival of provincial party leader Paul Mashatile.

But he believed a comeback was imminent.

“I was also removed from the PR (proportional representation) list.

“There is a lot of tension in the area as we speak but the ­national leadership is attending to the matter,” he said.

But just in case he did not get his position back, he would return to his trade as a boiler- maker.

» Mashile made headlines last October when he stopped a group of unemployed Bushbuckridge youths from cleaning streets for free because he did not like their DA T-shirts.

He said this week that he had left municipal politics to pursue “other interests” because he wanted to give others a chance.

He also did not want to behave like a traditional leader who occupied a position for life.

Mashile said: “There is a need for new faces and thinking. We must give others space so that they can confront the challenges faced by the municipality.”

» Hlope made headlines when he hijacked the funeral of Mandla Nkosi and his seven-year-old triplets near Ermelo, Mpumalanga, to campaign for the ruling party ahead of the local government elections.

He upset mourners by shouting “Viva ANC” and “Amandla” and then reportedly told them to honour Nkosi by voting.

He wouldn’t speculate about reasons for his failure to make the candidate list.

“I was not retained as a ward councillor. I did not even get in as a PR councillor. I have lost interest and made way for others,” Hlophe said, adding that he was now focusing on his studies.

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