KZN ANC must redo elections

2013-01-03 00:00

AN ANC task team investigating irregular nominations for councillor candidate lists has ordered 11 by-elections to be held in KwaZulu-Natal.

This comes after the task team led by Nkozasana Dlamini-Zuma completed its investigation into the manipulation of candidate lists for the 2011 municipal elections.

The investigation was undertaken last year after the ANC received numerous complaints about imposition of councillors countrywide.

The ANC had introduced new guidelines that stipulated that candidates be screened and endorsed by communities.

The task team, which investigated complaints and disputes from 419 wards, probed 30 complaints from KwaZulu-Natal.

In its report, the task team found flaws in the nomination of councillors in seven KZN municipalities. The report, seen by The Witness, said nominations of candidates should be redone and followed by by-elections in eThekwini, Msunduzi, Impendle, Mkhambathini, Richmond, Umshwati and kwaDukuza.

ANC national spokesperson Keith Khoza confirmed yesterday the task team’s report recommended that councillors who were nominated irregularly in terms of the party’s guidelines should be recalled and by-elections held.

“The recommendations are clear. Those councillors who are affected will be recalled and we will go for by-elections,” Khoza said.

He said the outgoing NEC had endorsed the task team’s investigation in November and referred it to the new leadership elected in Mangaung for implementation.

“It’s a matter the new NEC must work on. One of the tasks of the new NEC is to take the recommendations forward,” Khoza added.

The outgoing NEC had committed itself to ensuring that all the recommendations of the task team would be implemented and indicated that party members who had manipulated the list processes should be brought before disciplinary structures.

The report made the following key findings on the KwaZulu-Natal complaints:

• eThekwini Ward 30 — five branch executive committee members, one of them the husband of the ward councillor, influenced the constitution of the screening committee.

• eThekwini Ward 1 — there was no screening committee.

• eThekwini Ward 53 — councillor Zandile Gumede did not live in the ward.

• eThekwini Ward 15 — fraudulent “blue slips” with illegal bank stamps were produced to entitle members to participate in nomination of candidates, and non-members nominated candidates.

• Msunduzi Ward 18 — a branch leader served on the screening committee and nominated his personal assistant. ANC members who raised their concerns were beaten by his bodyguards.

• Impendle Ward 2’s councillor did not live in the ward.

• Mkhambathini Ward 7 — a popular candidate’s nomination was withdrawn because of fraud allegations relating to a social grant.

• Richmond Ward 6 — a candidate known as Mkhize was accepted by the community, but the branch executive committee asked provincial leaders to remove him from the candidate list.

• Umshwati Ward 10 — the candidate was nominated at a public meeting, contrary to the guidelines, which stipulate nomination by a branch meeting.

• kwaDukuza Ward 21 — SA Communist Party members were marginalised from a meeting that nominated one candidate instead of two or more.

• kwaDukuza Ward 24 — ANC members were called to a meeting by text messages.

The report recommended that political work be done in other wards where complaints were lodged and that certain issues that were raised be investigated.

Provincial secretary Sihle Zikala said he could not comment on a report that he had not yet seen.

Some of the affected councillors said they would not have a problem stepping down.

Sindisiwe Gwala of Ward 18 in Msunduzi said: “I will abide by the decision of the organisation.”

Zanele Ndzoyiyana of eThekwini Ward 30 said she would take instructions from the ANC.

Khoza was optimistic that the affected councillors would co-operate.

“It should not be a problem for the councillors to resign, but let’s allow the NEC to advise on how to take the matter forward.”

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