Protesters call out ANC regional chair

2016-05-25 06:00
 Photo: supplied The state of Shakaville on Monday morning.

Photo: supplied The state of Shakaville on Monday morning.

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SHAKAVILLE residents went on a protest on Monday morning complaining about the candidate to contest this year’s local government elections in the area.

Other issues raised by residents were that they are dissatisfied with ANC Greater KwaDukuza Region chairperson Ricardo Mthembu’s leadership, and the other issue regarded the availability of water and the purchasing of water. On Saturday water supply was cut in the area.

With regards to the latter issue, district mayor Welcome Mdabe addressed the protesters outside the municipality’s offices and reportedly promised the protesting residents that by Monday afternoon water would be available in the area. He said that outstanding amounts on water meter accounts would be written off - meaning residents with such cases would be able to purchase water as they could not do so without settling the outstanding money.

With regards to the main issue, according to one of the protesters, who asked to remain anonymous, residents prefer that the current councillor stand for re-election as opposed to the new candidate running for election.

A protester, who did not want to be named, said the protesters believe the current councillor is performing well and this, he said, is evidenced by her receiving a number of awards for her work.

He said the person nominated as a candidate to stand for the ward had been a councillor of the area in this past and had failed to lead accordingly. Anonymous claimed the candidate had been corrupt during his term as councillor.

ANC Greater KwaDukuza secretary Thabani Mdlalose addressed the protesters outside the party’s regional offices on Monday. Residents had marched from Shakaville and into KwaDukuza CBD, making stops at the KwaDukuza Municipality’s offices and the district municipality’s offices before heading to the ANC’s regional offices.

Mdlalose said a candidate to contest for this year’s local government elections had not been officially appointed and that a public meeting is yet to be held where all the nominees would be introduced to the community for screening.

He called for Shakaville residents to unite ahead of the elections as the party is determined to win the ward in this year’s elections.

Protesters levelled allegations against regional chairperson Mthembu, claiming that he is to blame for the disruptions that have been witnessed recently in the party’s branches throughout the region.

The protesters claim Mthembu is manipulating the candidate nomination processes in order to have individuals favoured by him appointed as candidates.

Protesters said they would wait for the public meeting, which they said should be held soon, to see the outcome of the proceedings and whether the person they are opposed to will be named the candidate to stand for elections in Shakaville.

On Tuesday (24 May) a press briefing was held by the ANC’s regional leaders, namely regional secretary Thabani Mdlalose, his deputy Zibuyile Matozi Khuzwayo-Dlamini and regional spokesperson Lucky Makhathini, to address the protests that erupted in various areas on Monday.

The leadership collectively said they are unhappy about the conduct of the SAPS and the KwaDukuza Municipality Crime Prevention Unit for failing to disperse protesting Shakaville residents because the protest was illegal.

Khuzwayo-Dlamini said allegations made against regional chairperson Mthembu are baseless and unfounded and are made as an attempt to unseat him, Mthembu, as chairperson of the region and mayor of the municipality.

Mdlalose reiterated his deputy’s words when he said the claims made against the chairperson are false because he (Mthembu) does not take part in nomination processes which take place at branch level.

“That is not true. The chairperson does not sit in the committee that processes the nominee list, so even if he had a preferred candidate he wouldn’t be able to influence which individual is nominated or appointed as a candidate. Such allegations need to be rejected and criticised in the strongest terms because there is no such.”

Makhathini said the possible candidate opposed by some Shakaville residents tops the list of nominees in the branch in the area, meaning the majority of the branch members voted for him which further disproves claims that the chairperson has a hand in the candidate’s nomination.

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