Pietermaritzburg - Political parties contesting the local government elections in the Msunduzi region have all expressed optimism after concluding their electioneering on Sunday with big rallies intended as shows of force.ANC regional secretary Mzi Zuma said his party went to all corners of the uMgungundlovu District.“We did all that we could have possibly done. We did door-to-door campaigns, which wasere the main strategy of our campaign. “We also held community meetings where we engaged with community members. We went to churches and we also spoke with traditional leaders.”Zuma said his party had gone all out to popularise its manifesto and candidates.“We had motorcades in sub-regions this weekend, with Msunduzi having the biggest one. We are certain that we will retain all the municipalities in the region,” he said.Zuma said the party had been worried by the deat of four members during the campaign, but volunteers had continued with election activities nonetheless.Edendale branch treasurer Simo Ncwabe, who had resigned a day earlier as Mpofana chief financial executive officer, was gunned down outside his Edendale home on June 1. while taking his children to schoolLateron that day, Edendale branch chairperson Nathi Hlongwa was killed outside his Imbali home.. while coming back from a branch meeting. And Imbali ward 15 branch members Badedile Tshapa and Phetheni Ngubane were also shot and killed in June. while walking back from an ANC meeting.“We do not know the reasons for the killings, but we were worried by the assassination of our members in the middle of campaigning,” said Zuma.Zuma said he was not worried by any opposition party, saying candidates from DA, EFF and NFP had already defected to the ANC.“So our candidates will not be contesting with anyone,” he saidThe DA’s mayoral candidate, Mergen Chetty, said the party was feelingvery confident after an “exceptionally well-received” campaign in Msunduzi over the last three months. He said this weekend was packed with campaigning events held throughout the city. “The Blue Wave and Hoot for DA campaigns have been extremely well-received by residents of all races across the city. It is encouraging to know that the work on the ground has been positive and successful,” Chetty said. The door-to-door campaigns in each ward culminated on Friday with a Blue Wave outside Northway Mall with more than 150 supporters. The same entourage conducted a placard demonstration and Blue Wave in the Raisethorpe CBD on Saturday, before proceeding to Oribi with a mini motorcade. “Saturday was very busy for us and we used it to the best for our campaign. We also visited Peace Valley in Ward 26 and an informal settlement, Sacca, near Ashburton in Ward 37,” Chetty said. Yesterday, the leading opposition party hosted numerous public meetings across Pietermaritzburg. “We have noticed through our campaign that more and more residents have embraced the DA’s Vote for Change campaign,” Chetty said. Born and raised in Pietermaritzburg, Chetty said he is making a big sacrifice by leaving Parliament to run for mayor of Msunduzi. “It is a big sacrifice, but I am willing to do it. My passion is for where I was born and raised, and they say charity begins at home. I don’t mind a cut in my pay cheque if it means our people get the best service delivery,” he said. The EFF’s Dumisani Shelembe said his party was more than ready for the elections.“I am highly confident that wards 1, 2 as well as 20, my home ward, are already in the bag, and we will be celebrating after the elections.”He described the ruling party as being a mafia organization that only thinks about their own pocket.Shelembe said that when in power, the EFF would focus on the growth of the economy andwill target abolishing the tender system, which is only beneficial to some individuals.The IFP’s Thinasonke Ntombela said their electioneering had wentgone smoothly, without evidence of any intolerance.“I am proud of the fact that there was no disturbance and no violence amongst our strongholds. and there is a lot of tolerance.“People should be allowed to choose their own candidates to avoid political killings,” he said.Ntombela said he was confident his party would be in power after Wednesday’she August 3 elections.