Uproar over councillor

2016-03-30 06:00
RESIDENTS of Ward 10 in JB Mafora, Bloemfontein, march to the provincial offices of the ANC in protest of a councillor candidate they claim has been imposed on them ahead of the 2016 local election. Photo: Conrad Bornman

RESIDENTS of Ward 10 in JB Mafora, Bloemfontein, march to the provincial offices of the ANC in protest of a councillor candidate they claim has been imposed on them ahead of the 2016 local election. Photo: Conrad Bornman

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RESIDENTS of Ward 10 in JB Mafora, Bloemfontein, marched to the provincial offices of the ANC in protest against a councillor candidate they claim has been imposed on them ahead of the 2016 local elections.

Thabo Charles, a resident of JB Mafora, told Express on Monday (28/03), the party had flouted processes during nominations in their branch.

Charles said the community had written a letter of complaint to the appeals committee, led by Free State ANC chair, Ace Magashule, highlighting challenges faced by the branch.

“We were sidelined during the nomination processes and told that our membership was not older than six months and could therefore not participate,” said Charles.

Residents said a young woman by the name of Lindiwe had been earmarked as a favourable candidate for Ward 10, although she resided in Botshabelo.

Botshabelo is a small town 60 km outside of Bloemfontein.

Another resident, Lahliwe Sani (45), said Pres. Jacob Zuma had indicated that communities should be allowed to choose their own preferred candidates.

Sani said residents would not rest until the party leadership had heard their grievances.

The 74-year-old Francian Lejara, who also picketed outside of the ANC offices, said residents wanted to nominate Chris Joloza to serve as their councillor again.

Residents commended Joloza for serving his community when he was a councillor a few years ago.

William Bulwane, ANC Free State secretary, confirmed that the party had received complaints concerning the matter.

Bulwane said he had communicated with residents via text messages to inform them that their complaints would be heard by the appeals committee after the budget votes of departments.

The secretary further explained that the appeals committee would assess complaints from 317 wards throughout the province.

“The appeals committee will assess the complaints and decide whether there is a need to start processes afresh,” Bulwane stated. Some of the members of the appeals committee include Oupa Khoabane, MEC for Agriculture, and Mamiki Qabathe, Free State legislature speaker.

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