Youth boycott elections in Ermelo

2011-05-18 09:05

Disgruntled youth in the strife-torn Ermelo area have gathered at a shopping centre amid a heavy police presence and are playing street soccer and indigenous games.

The young people decided to boycott the municipal elections today after accusing the ANC of imposing councillors on them during the party’s bruising nomination processes in February.

Three police Nyalas are parked at the shopping centre in Wesselton’s Thembisa section, which is ward five.National police commissioner General Bheki Cele has identified Ermelo as one of 41 hotspots that police would be keeping a close eye on during the elections.

Ward five is where the February protests erupted – when the ANC camp of Premier David Mabuza, which is at the helm of the Gert Sibande region, allegedly manipulated the candidate nomination processes after the community and the local ANC branch chose Bongani Phakathi as their councillor.

“We’re not voting and that’s it,” said Bongani Gama, who is part of the core group that has been campaigning in the community to boycott the vote.“Some may go ahead and vote the ANC back into this municipality, but I believe it won’t be governable,” Gama said.

Mfanimpela Kubheka said they were looking forward to 2014 to vote for ANC councillors they wanted.

“This is a risk we’re prepared to take. We know that the Democratic Alliance, Inkatha Freedom Party and other parties have been campaigning strongly here.

They might win and we’ll get the opportunity to vote for our preferred councillors in 2014,” Kubheka said.“We will only support the ANC at national level, but not here in Msukaligwa,” he added.

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