Welkom – A Welkom resident who is a member of the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) was allegedly threatened by the ANC and told to join the party if he wanted a job after the August 3 local government elections.
Tefo Hlanyane of Thabong township in Welkom, Free State, told News24 on Thursday that on June 14, he received a mysterious call late at night.
"The person identified herself as an ANC official, she said she saw my name on the door-to door campaign list and that I should vote for the ANC," says Hlanyane.
"She said if I continued to be a member of the EFF then I would not get a job if the ANC wins in the upcoming local elections," he said.
The 28-year-old says the alleged caller guaranteed him a job in the ANC Youth League.
"I asked the person who called me to stop calling me because I am a member of the EFF and that is the party I know."
Nothing better to do
Four couches are cramped into the dark living area where he sits, posters of the EFF litter the floor. The house is also plastered with EFF posters on the outside.
Hlanyane has been a member of the EFF since 2014, he says.
"The EFF in this area is very strong and we as young people are fighting for our own rights. ANC only gives people houses when they are 40 years and they don't give people job opportunities anymore."
- Election map: How Welkom voted
News24 also spoke to seven men sitting by a fire on a street corner of the same road.
"There is nothing better we can do here, so we do this every day," says Lehlohonolo Malepe who sells cigarettes by singles.
"When there is a government initiative in the township and we ask for a job, the municipality asks to see ANC membership cards before they can hire us."
No change in five years
Malepe says he has been selling single cigarettes for more than 12 years.
During the interview with News24, Malepe runs to a car which had stopped for cigarettes.
He quickly runs back, warms his hands at the fire and says, "I voted in 2011 and I thought maybe I would find a job, but I am still here, selling cigarettes.
"These people are playing with us. I am still here doing the same thing I did in the past five years when I voted – nothing has changed and I am not willing to waste my time anymore," he said.
But for Ernest Mollo, who was part of the group of men, the ANC has done more for him.
"I am definitely voting. I am free today because of the party and I love it," he says with a beaming smile.
"I am definitely going to make the party proud and vote. When I am not here [on the streets], I fix cars for people and that for me is an achievement," he said.
In 2011, the ANC won the Matjhabeng municipality with 72.49 %, followed by the DA with 20.94 %.
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