ANC wards threaten to register independent candidates

2011-03-23 00:00

ANGRY African National Congress (ANC) members in the Moses Mabhida (Pietermaritzburg) region are threatening to field independent candidates against ANC candidates in the upcoming local government election, if the provincial executive committee fails to address their grievances before the end of today.

They also want the party leadership to fire the Regional Executive Committee (REC), whom they blame for corrupting the nomination process and imposing their own candidates on branches.

Members also want the party to address the growing violence that has come to characterise the nomination process.

These demands were made at a chaotic meeting at A.F. Wood Hall in the city on Monday night.

The meeting was convened by the ANC’s Provincial Executive Committee (PEC) in an attempt to address in-fighting because of dissatisfaction with the nomination process. In Msunduzi Municipality alone, ANC members from more than half of the 36 wards vowed to field independent candidates in parallel with ANC candidates.

Similar threats were made by delegates to the meeting who came from Mkhambathini (Camperdown), Richmond, uMngeni (Howick) and Mpofana (Mooi River).

ANC provincial secretary Sihle Zikalala and provincial executive committee (PEC) member and MEC for Education, Senzo Mchunu, were booed when they tried to address the crowd. Zikalala was accused of failing to attend to the complaints raised by the wards.

“The PEC is now pretending to be addressing our complaints because they realise that we will field independent candidates, which will be detrimental to the party’s performance at the elections.

“They hope that we will pipe down until the deadline for submitting names to the IEC, which is this Friday, passes. We are giving them until Wednesday to address our grievances or we will meet them in the elections as independents,” said a community leader at the meeting.

Complaints raised by the delegates ranged from meetings that did not follow procedures to the replacement of community-nominated candidates by those favoured by the REC. Some communities raised the fact that in their areas the names of candidates with criminal records appear on the list.

Towards the end of the meeting Zikalala shouted the ANC slogan “Amandla” (All power). Instead of shouting “Awethu” (It’s ours), the crowd shouted back “Awakho” (It’s yours).

• Reporter Skumbhuzo Miya was spotted towards the end of the evening and politely asked to leave as it was closed ANC meeting.

• Late yesterday the Sobantu ANC branch was re-doing its nomination, after the majority of branch members refused to recognise the proposed candidate for ward councillor. Members alleged that the candidate was elected in a flawed process.

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