Police contain protesters at Sadtu Park

2016-06-01 06:00

A GROUP of residents from different wards throughout KwaDukuza gathered at Sadtu Park on Monday with the intention of marching to the ANC regional offices to lay a complaint about candidate lists in certain branches in the region.

Police and other law enforcement were present and monitored the situation, managing to contain the protesters at the park until they were addressed by two ANC officials reportedly deployed to the scene by the regional leadership.

The group made several claims and allegations against the ruling party and its regional leadership, with their main gripe being that processes were not followed when candidate lists were drawn up in certain branches.

The group constituted individuals who said they represent Nkobongo, Melville and Shakaville.

This follows protests that rocked Kwa-Dukuza over the past few weeks with residents from different areas raising similar complaints.

The group gathered at Sadtu Park on Monday threatened not to vote during local government elections on 3 August 2016 should their complaints not be resolved to their satisfaction.

ANC Greater KwaDukuza regional spokesperson Lucky Makhathini said party processes would be followed with regards to receiving and dealing with complaints.

He said the call for the regional chairperson, who is also the mayor of KwaDukuza, Ricardo Mthembu, to step down is one that is made by the disgruntled group as part of targeting political leaders throughout the region.

Makhathini said the group that gathered on Monday “failed to mobilise significant numbers because the community has been made aware that certain individuals use money to fuel such protests for personal interests”.

He said only Ward 11 had issues which had not been resolved accordingly, however, he said the party’s leadership in the upper echelons would send a delegation that would meet with regional leadership structures to offer a resolution which would further be communicated with the affected community.

Makhathini said a candidate list would be finalised on Tuesday and regional leadership does anticipate that some would not be satisfied and some would.

The last day for submitting names of candidates to contest elections at the Independent Electoral Commission is Thursday, 2 June.

It is believed that the KwaDukuza Municipality erected a fence around its premises after having received threats that protesters would cause instability at the offices during working hours on Monday.
A different group of protesters gathered outside the municipal offices on Tuesday. This group said they are opposed to violent protests that result in the burning down of public buildings and that police should deal with those guilty of this, adding that the fence should be removed immediately. This group said it is opposed to people who mobilise residents to protest for the sake of furthering personal interests. Some among this group carried placards with the words “Down with Ricaphobia”, possibly a reference speaking out against the call for regional chairperson, Ricardo Mthembu, to step down.

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