Ward 11 elections disturbed as councillor locks community hall

2016-01-14 06:00
PHOTO: supplied Ward 11 residents stood for hours outside the Snathing community hall after ward councillor Sipho Madonda allegedly locked them out.

PHOTO: supplied Ward 11 residents stood for hours outside the Snathing community hall after ward councillor Sipho Madonda allegedly locked them out.

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GUNSHOTS were fired as tempers flared outside the Snathing community hall on Sunday, with community members demanding entry into the hall after Ward 11 councillor Sipho Madonda had allegedly locked them out, ahead of the nominations for the potential ward councillor candidate.

The branch general meeting was supposed to start at 8am, but by 12pm people were still waiting outside. As tension brewed, with community members losing patience, police fired rubber bullets to disperse the angry crowd.

Residents blame the councillor for wanting to stand for the second term, as they allege that some people, who do not belong in his camp, have not have their party membership cards renewed in order to be eligible to vote.

A resident spoke to Echo, but did not want to be identified.

“Just like any political leader, there are bound to be camps. There are people who had applied for the renewal of their membership cards months ago, but their application had not been processed because they belong to a camp that is ‘ anti-councillor’.

“The problem started when these people demanded to vote for potential candidates using their identity books like it is done in national elections, but they were not allowed to.

“When this was happening the councillor was inside the hall with his branch executive committee, despite community members asking that he allow new faces to stand for the position. Out of the people who were eligible to vote because they had membership cards, the majority belonged to his camp.”

Residents said after an altercation between them and ward leadership, police were called to stabilise the situation.

When contacted for comment, Madonda referred the paper to the provincial leadership. ANC regional secretary Mzi Zuma said they are aware of the matter and there is a procedure­ currently in process to respond directly to the concerns of the aggrieved.

“The nomination process is an internal one where only card-carrying members, who are in good standing, are eligible to vote. The membership roll is then prepared based on those members who are in good standing. A minimum of four candidates are nominated to stand for the position and after they have been selected, it then becomes a community process. It was a mistake from the beginning to mobilise community members.

“In terms of membership, it depends on when one submitted the application and if it has expired or if one has not been a card-carrying member for at least six months, they are not eligible­ to vote,” said Zuma.

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