Communities ditch ANC candidates
Polokwane - The ANC is reported to have lost 13 wards in Limpopo's Giyani area as community members nominate their own candidates for the May 18 local government elections instead of accepting the party's choice.
"There have been a lot of defections because of a lot of dissatisfaction with how the ANC handled candidates chosen by the people to represent them," said independent candidate Gezani Sithole.
Sithole was an ANC member in Ward 16 in Mininginisi village until he resigned after complaining that the ANC Mopani regional office had sidelined him in spite of the support he had from the community.
One of Sithole's supporters, Wisani Mathonsi, told community members during a campaign that the ANC had failed to deliver on countless promises.
"We are tired of false promises. It make makes no sense that you buy a cow and then at the time of collection they show you a donkey and tell you to take it. There's a big difference between a cow and a donkey, and we are tired of getting a donkey," said Mathonsi.
"The community has made its decision. In this ward we vote for only on one person and that’s Gezani Eddy Sithole," he said, to loud cheers from the supporting crowds.
Many community members said they were tired of being short-changed and that they would express their feelings at the polls.
"The people are expressing their anger over the swapping of candidates that took place in this region. They are now speaking out," said Sithole.
Provincial ANC secretary Joe Maswanganyi told African Eye News Service that former party members who resigned to independently contest the polls had not been overlooked within party ranks, but had long planned to leave.
"Those [former party members] who claim to have been overlooked are just making excuses. The truth is, they were looking for ways to run away from the ANC and this became an opportune moment for them," said Maswanganyi.