Willowfountain: ‘ANC wants no-go area’

2011-05-04 00:00

INDEPENDENT candidates say Monday’s attack in Willowfountain was planned by the African National Congress councillors who want to declare the area a no-go zone.

Fisani Zondi, an independent candidate for ward 14 in Willowfountain, said it was a planned move by the ANC ward candidates Sibusiso Mkhize and Mtuza Mkhize.

“We called the meeting to inform community members that the candidate of their choice had not withdrawn from standing as a ward councillor as was announced by Sibusiso Mkhize’s supporters,” Zondi said.

She said it was the third time that her meetings had been disrupted by ANC supporters in the area.

“I still even have the receipts to prove that I had the right to hold a meeting at the hall. I am a reverend, so at one stage while I was holding a meeting I was told that I have run to politics because I fail to manage the affairs of the church,” she said.

Zondi said it was childish of councillors as community leaders to let a mob attack innocent people. “What message were they sending? Could it be that they want to forcefully win these elections even if the community does not want them to lead?” she asked.

Sandile Ngcobo, an independent candidate for ward 21 in Dambuza, said the attack was deliberate because Zondi used a loudhailer to inform the community that she is still standing for the elections and invited them to the meeting.

He said she had also invited independent ward candidates from other wards to come and support her.

“The ANC supporters declared that they are going to defend the Premier Dr Zweli Mkhize’s ward by refusing free and fair campaigning for independent candidates.”

Ngcobo said they have taken their complaint to the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC), the SA Police Force provincial commissioner and the Independent Complaints Directorate.

He said they know that names were imposed on the community because Premier Mkhize wants to be retained as the ANC provincial chairperson next year.

Sibusiso Mkhize dismissed the allegations, saying that it was difficult to identify who was an ANC member because almost everyone who was there wore ANC colours.

“We told them that if they want to campaign they must stop using the ANC colours to canvass for votes.

“What provoked the ANC members was that they tore my posters and swore at the provincial ANC leadership.” he said.

IEC provincial leader Mawethu Mosery said that once there has been an assault the matter becomes a criminal offence and is handed over to the police.

All the IEC can do now is to monitor the situation.

He said that if the hostility intensifies, necessary measures will be taken.

ANC Infighting: KZN 'healing' drive

THE ANC in KwaZulu-Natal will embark on a “healing” process within its ranks following violent confrontations that accompanied its process to nominate candidates for the coming local government elections.

KZN ANC chairperson and Premier Dr Zweli Mkhize said this in an interview yesterday following an outbreak of violent confrontations among ANC supporters — those backing an independent candidate and those supporting an ANC candidate — in Willowfountain, Pietermaritzburg, on Monday.

“We are going to different structures of the ANC promoting unity after all confrontations created during the nomination process.

“The ANC has got to sustain the political stability in the province as we are interacting with other political roleplayers to ensure that there are no ‘no-go’ areas in the province …”

Commenting on the recent incidents of violence in Pietermaritzburg, Camperdown and surrounding areas, Mkhize said, “The ANC condemns every act of violence directed at any member of the society. We want to assure the people of Kwa­Zulu-Natal that we remain committed to free political activity and we are determined to ensure that people of this province are able to exercise their rights to belong to any political party of their choice.”

Mkhize said the recent violence involving ANC members are being addressed internally by the leadership of the ANC at regional and provincial level.

He also called on police to continue with their investigations “as we cannot tolerate any criminal activities within the ANC”.

The SA Communist Party’s KZN secretary, Themba Mthembu, condemned the Willow­fountain incident, saying the act is “against the spirit of free political activity as advocated by the ANC and the alliance”.

“What is even worse is that this act follows hot on the heels of the hacking [with a panga] of an SACP leader in Dambuza, Mr Malusi Hlatshwayo, who was attacked during the nomination process,” Mthembu said.

He said the SACP suspects that this could be the work of thugs who are masquerading as ANC supporters. and he called for a speedy investigation and arrests of those responsible.

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