Independent candidates vow to give ANC a run for its money

2011-05-17 12:47

An independent candidate who has defeated the ANC in previous local government polls has vowed to repeat his success.

His secret, he says, is, to talk less and deliver more basic services.

Former ANC member Brown Mashele, who is seeking re-election as a councillor for ward 23 in the Tzaneen municipality, said he was confident of winning his seat back because he had pushed the local municipality to provide services to his area for the past five years.

The area includes villages such as Bonn, Mulati, Sedani, Ntsako and Mavharani near Lenyenye township in Limpopo, about 130km east of Polokwane.

Mashele said under his councillorship, Sedani, Ntsako and Mulati were electrified to the tune of at least R11 million, R6 million was spent on roads in the area and 100 RDP houses were built as a pilot project for the municipality.

He said because of a water shortage in the area, 12 boreholes were drilled in Bonn, three at Sedani, three at Mulati, one at Ntsako and all households supplied with Jojo tanks to store water.

Mashele said he achieved all of this by working directly with the mayor and bypassing the ANC-dominated council, because its councillors used tricks to block developments in wards held by opposition parties and independent councillors.

“If you are an independent councillor and you raise a matter in a council with 63 members, and only nine are from the opposition, you won’t win. They will crush you and if you say, let us vote, you can’t win. My strategy was to write a letter to the mayor directly and say I want this and that delivered in my village by this date,” Mashele said.

Mashele said despite flying Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe to the area last week to help an ANC candidate topple him, the governing party would not succeed because he had worked the masses too hard to lose.

“I am not joking.They are aware they would never win this ward. They would be silenced by next week. I do not impose myself on the people. They love me,” boasted Mashele.

“The ANC is like a wheelbarrow. If you do not push them, they do not deliver.”

At Taaibosch village near Senwabarwana, about 170km north-west of Polokwane, another independent candidate was plotting the downfall of his former party – the ANC.

About 200 supporters of Dan Shoni Simata, a former ANC councillor in the Blouberg municipality, were putting final touches to their campaign while others were criss-crossing the area in a bakkie drumming up support for him.

The group – mostly pensioners, women and unemployed youths – told City Press they remained ANC members but would vote for Simata.

They said he was a people’s person, had assisted a lot of orphans and pensioners to access social grants and often used his personal car to take poor sick people to hospital for free.

Simata was one of the 14 councillors who won a high-court challenge against the governing party last March after being fired.

Dan Sematla, a campaign co-ordinator for Simata and four other independent candidates in the area, said Simata would bring water and poverty alleviation programmes through the Mapungubwe World Heritage Site and jobs in the local Venetia mine because he was a facilitator there.

“Because of him (Simata), many white farmers in the area have started to hire local blacks as labourers again because they knew he would intervene if there were labour disputes. Simata goes there regularly to speak to them and farmers around Alldays know him. He is a people’s person,” said Sematla.

Limpopo provincial ANC chairperson and premier Cassel Mathale said the party was confident independent candidates had not dented its support.

He said he was confident of a clean sweep of all 30 municipalities in the province.

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions. publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Jobs in Western Cape region

Reporting Accountant

Cape Town
Network Finance Professional / Prudential
R310 000.00 - R360 000.00 Per Year

IT Manager (contract)

Cape Town CBD
Communicate Cape Town IT
R330 000.00 - R458 000.00 Per Year

Cluster Financial Manager

Cape Town
Network Finance
R950 000.00 - R1 000 000.00 Per Year

Property [change area]

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.