Protesting residents fear for their lives after rumoured hit-list

2016-05-26 11:09
Angry Edendale residents protest outside the ANC office in Pietermaritzburg, demanding they be given a councillor dedicated to helping the community.

Angry Edendale residents protest outside the ANC office in Pietermaritzburg, demanding they be given a councillor dedicated to helping the community. (Chelsea Pieterse, The Witness)

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Pietermaritzburg - Frustrated Edendale residents say that a hit-list is circulating in the area following their demand to the ANC to replace their ward councillor.

Scores of unhappy Edendale Ward 12 residents visited the ANC offices on Jabu Ndlovu Street yesterday, in the hopes of having their cries for a new councillor and pleas for their safety answered.

“We have not had any community meetings in years, and now they [the ANC] are putting in the same councillor [Sboniso Majola], who is not doing his job,” said a resident who would not be named.

“They told us to give him a chance, but we don’t believe we should. He holds no meetings, there is no service delivery. He does not want to know the community he lives in.”

Another resident, who would not be named, said those leading the movement against the councillor had been added to a hit-list.

“They think we are hooligans just because we question them. We are protesting peacefully; we do not want violence, just change.”

Majola said the problems started early last year with Ward 12 residents asking to be made members of the ANC.

He said recruitments were done and over 900 residents became members.

“Then we went through the processes of electing ANC candidates for the ward,” he said.

Majola said five people were elected. However, one of the candidates who was elected had fewer votes and had become disgruntled.

He said it was suspected that this man could be leading the movement to unseat him. “I am not even a ward councillor; I am just a candidate. We will only know after local elections who the councillor will be,” he said.

ANC provincial spokesperson Mdumiseni Ntuli told The Witness that he was aware of a planned protest yesterday.

He said, however, that any person who says the ANC had compiled a hit-list is “not telling the truth”.

“The ANC is not a rebel organisation that organises the killing of people. We are a democratic organisation that governs KZN and enjoys the trust of our people.”

Ntuli said the protest most likely had to do with a group of people who remain unhappy with the party’s candidate selection process for the local government election.

“There is a small group that remains unhappy, irrespective of the fact that we have listened to all of them and made a determination in the best interests of these communities.”

Ntuli said they would continue to engage with those who are unhappy.

He added that the ANC was mindful that some of the residents could have been “misled” about the objectives of the protest action.

“It was possible that some of the people concerned were creating discontent with the intention of using this later to stand as independent candidates,” he said.

Pietermaritzburg police spokesperson Sergeant Mthokozisi Ngobese said there had been no reports of a hit-list brought to the police.


Read more on:    pietermaritzburg  |  protest  |  anc

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