Delegates urged: Don’t sell votes

2007-12-14 00:00

ANC delegates in KwaZulu-Natal have been warned not to “sell the mandate” given to them by their branches when they vote for the next ANC president in Polokwane next week.

“We pray that delegates are not swayed and persuaded to change the mandate of the people,” said the deputy president of the SA National Civic Organisation, Ruth Ntshulana-Bhengu, during a prayer meeting at the Pietermaritzburg City Hall yesterday.

Ayanda Dlodlo, general secretary of the uMkhonto Wesizwe Military Veterans’ Association, echoed this plea.

These statements came in the wake of allegations that some of the delegates have been offered positions and money in exchange for their votes.

Yesterday, the ANC Electoral Commission made a call to conference delegates that they must report bribery for votes.

“We have not received any formal complaints about such activities, in spite of the many allegations and rumours that have appeared in the media,” read a statement issued by Bertha Gxowa, the chairwoman of the commission.

Bhengu and Dlodlo both back ANC deputy president Jacob Zuma for the party presidency.

Yesterday’s prayer was attended by other backers of Zuma, such as Cosatu provincial secretary Zet Luzipho, Msunduzi Mayor Zanele Hlatshwayo and Vusi Dube, the charismatic pastor of eThekwini uMgungundlovu churches.

Dube was optimistic of Zuma’s chances.

“When they [delegates] come back … there will be celebrations, especially here in KwaZulu-Natal,” Dube said.

Anglican Bishop of Natal Rubin Phillip delivered a sermon, saying the KZN Council of Churches is not taking sides, but “wants to bring healing to a troubled nation”.

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