Independents ready for vote

2016-06-17 13:11
Egypt constitution vote (Picture: AP)

Egypt constitution vote (Picture: AP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Pietermaritzburg - Five ANC members have registered as independent candidates for the local government elections in the Msunduzi region — a move a political analyst says could cost the party dearly.

The development comes less than a week after ANC provincial chairperson Sihle Zikalala warned against party members contesting as independent candidates, saying they would thereby divorce themselves from the party.

The Witness has confirmed that 13 people in the Msunduzi region alone have registered as independent ­candidates.

Out of seven candidates who The ­Witness spoke to, five confirmed they are ANC members.

One of the independent candidates, Neliswa Mkhumbeni, said the party had left them “without that much of a choice” through its much criticised ­candidate selection process.

“We felt like outsiders anyway,” Mkhumbeni said.

While Zikalala had urged ANC ­members unhappy with the lists to voice their concerns within the party’s internal structures, Mkhumbeni said the party had not given them the chance to air their grievances.

“There was too much gatekeeping in the party’s nomination process. We tried to submit our nomination, but the branch executive committee told us they had closed nominations, whereas we knew they were still open,” she said.

Mkhumbeni said that if selected, an independent candidate would serve the community better.

“When someone is independent, they do not owe favours to his or her party’s members who helped them ascend to power.

“Councillors from political parties only help their friends. That is another reason that the community wants an ­independent candidate, who will not feel like he or she owes his or her political friends,” she said.

Mlungisi Mbanjwa, who led lobbying for the nomination of an independent candidate in his ward, described the decision as a “warning shot” to the ANC.

“The problem is the arrogance of the ANC in not wanting to listen to the ­masses. They are deliberately flouting the processes of the ANC. What type of a leader would flout the rules of his organisation?

“This is the reason we needed an ­independent candidate who would be able to focus on service delivery issues while we sort out the ANC,” he said.

Delani Nkabini, who is registered as an independent candidate, said it was clear that politically aligned councillors only served people from their own party.

“What I have heard is that people no longer want to vote for political parties; they want to vote for independent candidates because they know they will serve the whole community equally,” he said.

ANC Moses Mabhida region ­secretary Mzi Zuma said those who had registered as independent candidates had expelled themselves from the ­organisation.

“We have a problem of people who want to elevate their own interests. I do not know why they are standing against their own organisation.”

Zuma refuted claims that the party’s policies had been flouted during the nomination process.

“Wherever there was a dispute lodged, the organisation intervened and resolved those matters.

“What I can tell those candidates is that we will meet on the ground and we will defeat them,” he said.

Asked why the ANC would not allow those who would stand as independent candidates to return to the party, when the party has an open policy which ­absorbs members from other parties, Zuma said anybody was open to apply for ANC membership.

“The approval is another thing. I do not know if the party structures would approve their applications,” he said.

An ANC member who had punted an independent candidate, and who asked not to be named, said it was disturbing that the ANC would not allow the ­independent candidates back.

“Independents are not at war with the ANC. The ANC was able to absorb the National Party, and they accept people from the IFP and DA. Why not the ­independent candidates?”

An ANC loyalist, who would not be named, said the party would find itself in need after the local government ­elections.

“They might find themselves having to beg for votes from independents or smaller parties to run the municipality,” said the insider.

Political analyst Protas Madlala said the ANC might pay dearly at the polls.

“Depending on how popular they are in their communities, the independents might eat a big chunk of the ANC’s votes. If they lose, they would have still wasted a good number of ANC votes,” he said.

No independent candidates are ­registered in wards 12, 18 and 29, which have experienced protests over ANC nomination processes.

The political environment in the ­Moses Mabhida region remained tense throughout the ANC nomination ­process.

There were several protests where ANC members demanded the removal of certain candidates from nomination lists.

Four ANC members have been shot dead in the Pietermaritzburg region alone.

• See page 4 on Sobantu’s plans

Read more on:    pietermaritzburg  |  elections  |  vote

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.