‘Reign of terror’ party gets seat in legislature

2014-05-11 06:00

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The Bushbuckridge Residents’ Association (BRA) is going to Mpumalanga’s provincial legislature.

The BRA scored 15?368 votes or 1.15% of Mpumalanga’s vote. This means one party member will join fellow newcomers, the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF), in the provincial legislature.

Secretary Cleopus Maunye said the BRA had struggled to raise the R245?000 deposit ­required by the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) to contest the polls.

“Our councillors were donating money from their salaries and we had community members who would donate R1?000 from time to time. Getting the seat will help us a great deal to reclaim the money from the IEC and plough it back into growing the organisation,” Maunye said.

“The seat will also boost the morale of the people who voted for us and we will reward them by continuing to work in the communities and advocate for service-delivery issues daily.”

The BRA was formed by disgruntled ANC members just before the 2011 local government elections. It won seven seats in the local council.

The party has had its share of controversy. Some residents have accused BRA members of conducting a reign of terror?–?banishing people accused of Satanism and witchcraft, burning down suspects’ houses and halting schooling.

Its president, Delta Mokoena, was sentenced to three years in jail for intimidation, and ­another two years for arson and for accusing a resident of practising witchcraft last year.

He is appealing both cases and has been ­released on R10?000 bail in each case.

Provincial electoral officer Steve Ngwenya said the ANC’s drop from 1.152?million votes (85.8%) in 2009 to 1.045?million (78.2%) this year in the province had cost it three of its 27 seats in the 30-member legislature.

The DA previously held two seats and Cope had one.

Now, the DA will have three seats and Cope will no longer be represented. The EFF won two seats in the province.

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