Oshabeni a safer place

2012-11-09 00:00

POLITICAL parties on the South Coast say they are satsified with the outcome of the by-election held in Oshabeni, Port Shepstone, yesterday amid hopes that the new ANC ward councillor will bring peace to the area.

The election yesterday of ANC councillor Khayelihle Shinga has been widely welcomed.

Oshabeni ANC branch secretary Phumzile Khumalo said the party, which had been divided, was now united and had never felt safer since before the recent assassination of two leaders of the branch.

The unrest that followed the natural death of councillor Ntombenhle Gcabashe about two months ago and created the vacancy was at an end, said the ANC.

“The Oshabeni ANC branch has never been this close since before the deaths of our two comrades who were assassinated.

“It still hurts us, but we feel safer and united because the perpetrators are no longer with us now that they are in jail — and now we have a new councillor to lead us,” said Khumalo.

She said the party had confidence in the newly elected councillor and the branch was fully behind him.

Shinga said he felt safe with the support of his comrades and with the opposition parties.

“At first I was feeling a bit scared, but as a pastor my life is in God’s hands.

“I’m just going to serve my community as best I can, because I think this was God’s plan to bring stability to this area.

“The support I got from my comrades and the residents was amazing.

“Everyone looked happy to see me win and even the opposition parties congratulated me.”

Shinga said the ANC branch was delighted that people in Oshabeni had faith in the party even though they had challenges.

“We are happy that voters have trusted the ANC again and that … they still have faith in the people’s party.

“We are going to make sure that we deliver service to our people.”

Opposition parties voiced their satisfaction with the election process and admitted they had lost a fair election.

Gathuso Khayiza, a member of Inkatha Freedom Party who was observing the by-election, said he was satisfied with the results and had faith in the new councillor.

“We won’t complain about anything. We lost to a party that had better campaign strategies than we did.

“I believe the new councillor will do a good job.”

Said Zipho Yeni of the National Freedom Party, who was also a candidate in the by-election: “We lost a fair election and we just need to go back and fix where our campaign went wrong to win the next elections.

“I’m just glad the stability in the area is back.”

The assistant manager of the Independent Electorial commission in Ugu, Siphiwe Yeni, confirmed the result.

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