Local elections: ANC heeds local protests over nominations

2011-02-04 00:00

THE African National Congress (ANC) in KwaZulu-Natal has vowed to leave no stone unturned in addressing grievances of its Moses Mabhida branches, which staged a sit-in protest at the regional offices in Jabu Ndlovu Street on Wednesday.

Police were called at midnight on Wednesday to disperse more than 100 protesters at the Moses Mabhida regional offices of the ANC, demanding the region and its branches be disbanded and that the process to nominate candidates for local government elections be started afresh.

The grievances include allegations of interference in the nomination process by regional leaders, imposing sitting councillors as candidates in communities, despite their rejection, and withholding ANC membership cards from supporters perceived to be against preferred candidates.

ANC spokesperson Dr Makhosi Khoza said the grievances are a concern to the ANC and the party will ensure they are properly investigated. Protesters told The Witness thatpolice removed them from the ANC offices at around midnight on Wednesday.

Said a protester who asked not to be named, “Although we intended to continue the protest until the leadership came to address our grievances, we had to give in to a police ultimatum for us to leave or be forced to move, as we feared that confrontation with them would lead to unnecessary injuries to our members.”

Some supporters are threatening to field independent candidates in the upcoming elections — a move ANC provincial chairperson Zweli Mkhize said would lead to the expulsion of those “members who would dare stand as independent candidates or support other parties against the ANC in the elections”. One of the protesters confirmed that a meeting has been scheduled between them and the provincial leadership to discuss the grievances.

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