Candidate list fraud scrutiny

2016-06-30 06:00

Ward 93 in Khayelitsha is under investigation for fraud.

This comes after the name of the community-eelected candidate for this safe ANC ward, Thando Pimpi, was replaced with that of Ntombebala Mquqwana.

However, a party official says the ANC can only rectify the problem after the August local government elections, by holding a by-election.

For a week, there were recurring protests in Khayelitsha by residents over the ANC ward councillor candidate list for the upcoming August local elections.

Burning tyres blocked Jeff Masemola Road on the afternoon of 10 June. Four people were arrested on 15 June for public violence during protests. According to several eyewitnesses, the police used teargas and rubber bullets to disperse the crowd. Police have yet to confirm this. A court date is set for 15 July.

Then in the early hours of 17 June, Ward 93 councillor Amos Komeni said an attempt was made to petrol bomb his home. Luckily, the bomb landed on an old washing machine outside his house and the explosion was contained. No one has been arrested for the incident.

Residents say they elected Thando Pimpi as their representative at an ANC meeting on 15 March. At a second meeting on 26 March, and attended by residents regardless of party affiliation, Pimpi was again endorsed by the community.

Somewhere between the March meeting and the list being submitted to the IEC, Pimpi’s name was allegedly removed from the list for Ntombebala Mquqwana’s name.

The IEC will be make lists public on Friday 1 July. Pimpi did not wish to comment, though.

Residents began protesting the alleged fraud, demanding answers, which the provincial committee promised before 9 June.

By 10 June, there had been no statement, and residents resorted to burning tyres on Lansdowne Road.

Protests only stopped after a meeting with the ANC at which the Provincial Executive Committee acknowledged that Pimpi’s name was fraudulently removed from the list andwould investigate.

Jabu Mfusi, ANC Provincial Executive Committee Western Cape Head of Communication, said the PEC promised to remedy the situation.

Since the IEC cannot make changes to the list, the PEC has said that if the ANC is elected on 3 August, the candidate will step down on 4 August, and Pimpi will take her place after a by-election.

In the 2011 local government election, the ANC won 92% of the vote in ward 93.

Yonela Diko, spokesperson for the ANC, explained that the community does not have the deciding vote on who becomes the candidate. There is an “independent” body of members who decide on a list of four candidates in o-rder of preference.

That list is taken to the community for their input before the final decision is made. The opinion of the community is taken into account, but, ultimately, the decision of who will represent the people is made by the ANC branch.

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