Eighteen independents expected in PMB elections

2011-03-28 00:00

EIGHTEEN independent candidates are expected to contest the local government elections in Pietermaritzburg on May 18 and most of them are from the ranks of the ANC.

For the first time Sobantu, which has always been fully behind the ANC, will be fielding an independent candidate.

It is believed that Dambuza SA Communist Party member Sandile Ngcobo may also be standing as a candidate, although he could not be reached to confirm this yesterday.

Community members who have long favoured Ngcobo against sitting councillor Mtuza Mkhize criticised a Sunday newspaper report that SA Communist Party secretary-general Blade Nzimande had pushed for Ngcobo to be a candidate.

The report said Nzimande wanted to field his own candidates to fight for control and influence over senior ANC leader Zweli Mkhize.

Amused Dambuza residents asked how Nzimande, a resident of the area, could gain such control with one candidate. They said they had heard the story before it hit the newspapers and believe it is being put out by people with close ties to the present councillor, who is contesting the seat for a third and final term in office.

Nzimande could not be reached for comment.

After unhappiness over the candidates chosen by the ANC, many more independents were expected, but with last-minute negotiations within the party, some hopefuls were reported to have held out hope that the ANC was going to address their grievances and make changes to the list.

They only found out from press reports that they were being strung along, because, according to the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) the ANC handed in its list on Thursday night.

However, there were last-minute changes and a flurry of new candidates were called in on Thursday to sign candidate acceptance forms.

Most ANC members were still in the dark over who is on their lists. With many different lists floating around, they believe it will be safest to wait to see the official IEC list, which is expected to be made public by mid-week.

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