ANC T-shirt only for ‘comrades’

2011-05-10 00:00

SUPPORTERS of an independent candidate in Pietermaritzburg are afraid to continue canvassing votes for him after, saying they were forced by ANC supporters to stop putting up his posters.

The incident happened in the Payipini area of Mpumuza on Saturday when they were canvassing for Phelelani Ngubane, who left the ANC to become a independent candidate in ward one after he was sidelined during the nomination process.

Solomuzi Ngubane said the supporters were forced to stop putting up posters and one of them was ordered to take off an ANC T-shirt.

“They swore at us and intimidated us for campaigning for an independent candidate. These people know us because we served together in the ANC,” said Ngubane.

He said the community unanimously nominated Phelelani Ngubane, but the ANC “imposed” another candidate on them, which led to them leaving the party to support a candidate of their choice.

“We are afraid to continue canvassing for our candidate because of the threats,” said Ngubane.

He said yesterday the ANC had a door-to-door campaign and went into his home but no one disturbed them.

“Things change. We used to fear the IFP, but now it is the ANC that we fear,” he added.

The ANC denies the allegations.

Jabu Ngubo, Msunduzi Deputy Mayor and chairperson of the ANC branch in the area, said she was informed of the matter but denied that there was any intimidation or swearing.

“I was told that our members were conducting a campaign when they spotted a supporter of the independent candidate wearing an ANC T-shirt and they asked him to take it off because it is not allowed,” said Ngubo.

She said their members even called the police to witness what was going on, but the candidate’s supporters ran off before police arrived.

“Independent candidates are not a threat at all. The problem is that they use the ANC name, colours and other materials to canvass for votes, which is wrong,” she said. She said independent candidates should refrain from using ANC materials when campaigning.

“Our members are disciplined and I advise them to just ignore independent candidates and their supporters before they make them popular, because they are not,” said Ngubo.

Bheki Dube, general secretary of the ANC branch in the area, said a supporter of the independent candidate was merely asked to take off the ANC T-shirt he was wearing as he is no longer a comrade. “It is illegal to use the ANC name when they have defected to another party,” said Dube.

The chief electoral officer of the Independent Electoral Commission in KwaZulu-Natal, Mawethu Mosery, said that wearing a T-shirt of another political party is prohibited conduct in terms the Electoral Code of Conduct.

“It is prohibited because it borders on the line of deceiving the voting public. It is falsifying the identity of that person.”

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