‘Council posts scramble fuels violence’

2017-09-21 13:45
Former KZN premier Senzo Mchunu.

Former KZN premier Senzo Mchunu. (Sabelo Nsele)

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The ANC’s councillor selection process fuelled political violence in KwaZulu-Natal, says former provincial premier Senzo Mchunu.

He said council posts had become highly sought after because of financial rewards as a consequence of tender manipulation.

Mchunu lost his provincial leadership in 2015. The elective conference that ousted him was last week declared unlawful by the Pietermaritzburg High Court.

Speaking at the Moerane commission probing political killings in the province, Mchunu said the councillor nomination process could be manipulated in many ways.

This included manipulation of membership: “In other words there is a predetermined outcome where you include on the voters roll only the names of those who will vote for your preferred faction.”

Mchunu said deployees sent to convene meetings could also swing the outcome of the branch general meetings towards their preferred candidate.

“Even if you are number one on the list at the branch general meeting and community meeting, it does not guarantee that you will be a councillor. Your name can still be removed during rationalisation of the list.”

Mchunu said other branch meetings were being manipulated by telling people wrong times and venues for meetings so that only a certain faction could make it.

He said “bouncers” had also prevented people from certain factions attending meetings.

He also warned of “unintended” consequences arising from factional battles in the ANC in KwaZulu-Natal — including the party losing power. He suggested a “frank” dialogue between the two factions currently disputing the party leadership in the province.

The recent high court judgment provided an opportunity, he said. “The ANC as the governing party has to take stock ... of internal systems without fearing criticism or avoiding it.”

The ANC needed to look at a “bigger picture”, such as its lifespan as an organisation and the impact factional fights might have on the public at large.

“If we do not act accordingly there will be a gap between what we say and do and we will get into crisis, decreasing our days as the governing party,” he said.

Read more on:    pietermaritzburg  |  senzo mchunu

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