Didiza woos Mamelodi 'over and over again'

2016-07-07 21:18
Thoko Didiza (News24)

Thoko Didiza (News24)

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WATCH: Zuma, Didiza confident Tshwane 'is safe in ANC hands'

2016-07-05 17:01

The ANC leadership took part in door-to-door campaigning in Tshwane on Tuesday, ahead of next month's municipal elections. Watch. WATCH

Johannesburg - Residents of Mamelodi came out in the late afternoon to show their support for local and provincial ANC leaders during a mini-rally after they went on a door-to-door campaign in the neighbourhood.

Thoko Didiza, the ANC's mayoral candidate for the Tshwane Metro, took centre stage on a mobile campaign truck bearing Zuma's face, and the theme of her speech was love and wooing.

"When you propose to a woman, you do so over and over again," she said, in an effort to explain that there would be continuity in the ANC's work when she took over from current mayor Kgosientso "Sputla" Ramokgopa.

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With her on the stage were Ramokgopa and Tshwane ANC deputy chairperson Mapiti Matsena.

Gauteng Premier David Makhura was there as well, and a government-sponsored drug rehabilitation truck was also parked on the open ground where close to a 1 000 people assembled to listen to speeches, chant slogans and sing songs.

They were well-received, and although the crowd chanted "Sputla" more enthusiastically than they did the mayoral candidate's name, it was the latter who received the biggest cheers. It was only a few weeks ago when residents protested Didiza's announcement as the mayoral candidate.

'I was breastfed ANC milk'

Resident Joyce Sibande, a 53-year-old jobseeker, was positive about Didiza.

"I am feeling so empowered, because we feel we will knock at a woman's door. A woman will understand what a woman wants. When I cry, a woman will listen."

Sibande said she grew up in the party and her parents were Umkhonto we Sizwe veterans.

"I was breastfed ANC milk," she said, grabbing her left breast with both hands. "When I grew up, we all knew the ANC."

She said those who protested and burnt things after Didiza's nomination did not belong in the ANC.

"They have to go with what the ANC says. If it says Thoko Didiza, we must go with her. That is what the constitution [of the ANC] says. If they are fighting they are not ANC, they don't understand the constitution of the ANC. We don't burn, it doesn't mean we must burn. Burning is wrong."

Gender balance

Another unemployed woman, who did not want to give her name, said she will vote ANC because the party looked after her in the past. "I am here because of the ANC, I stay here because of the ANC. If there is not ANC I will not stay here. I have my own place because of the ANC. My children go to school for free."

Louis Mashego, 54, an elections co-ordinator for the ANC in the area, said people in Mamelodi loved the ANC.

He said the party respected gender balance, that is why they nominated a woman.

"It is good that they are putting a woman [up], because we had men for mayors, and we must have women for mayors too. There must be a balance."

Ward councilor Lema Sithoga was also enthusiastic.

"People vote ANC for a better future, for education, development, change and service delivery."

'Nkandla feeds us'

He said Didiza would do a good job because she had experience and education.

Ramokgopa was popular "because of the service delivery to the people and the things he did in Tshwane", he said.

Sithoga said Nkandla didn't matter and he did not believe President Jacob Zuma should pay back the money.

"Nkandla feeds us, because Nkandla is there for the people.

"Nkandla is for the people of KwaZulu-Natal and their economic growth. The province will grow because of the place."

Read more on:    anc  |  thoko didiza  |  pretoria  |  local elections 2016  |  politics

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