Sobantu residents vow to elect own candidate

2016-06-17 10:59
Burning tyres outside Sobantu village

Burning tyres outside Sobantu village (File)

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Pietermarizburg - “Come August 3, we will elect the people’s councillor.”.

These were the words of a confident Sobantu resident who was among a group that had lobbied for the nomination of an independent candidate, after unhappiness over the ANC’s nomination process.

Hometown of struggle icons such as former Robben Island prisoners David “Mfenendala” Xaba and Truman Magubane, the area has been an ANC stronghold and the ward has always been won by an ANC candidate since the commencement of the local government elections.

However, the residents could elect an independent candidate this year.

The Witness has previously reported on a dispute lodged by party members with both the regional and provincial list committees.

The dispute stems from a branch nomination meeting held on December 20.

In the dispute, it is claimed that ANC members in good standing were deprived of the opportunity to participate in the meeting as they had not been invited to attend.

A document alleges there was manipulation of the membership roll, and removal of all members who the leadership felt were a threat in terms of being nominated.

The document also alleges that people who did not appear on the membership roll were allowed to participate in the meeting because they were friends of branch leaders.

Residents had also expressed discontent with Sandile Dlamini, who has widely been reported as the ANC’s ward candidate in ward 35.

Angry residents had disrupted a meeting held on January 25 after being told that they would not be given the chance to ask nominees questions.

The meeting was meant to present four people to the community, nominated by the ANC, for further assessment. One of those who had attended the meeting said they were told that the nomination process could not be questioned as the nominees had already been confirmed by the senior structure of the ANC.

A resident, who asked not to be named, said the reason people did not want Dlamini as ward candidate was because of his past political background.

Dlamini said whoever had evidence pertaining to his past should give it to the police.

He said the ANC had not yet finished its nomination processes.

“I am among the nominees, but that process has not been finalised yet,” he said.

A Sobantu resident said the whole community would vote for an independent candidate.

“The whole of Sobantu is ANC. The two voting districts in the area have been helping the ANC to win the ward, because the northern areas do not vote for the ANC. This time the ANC will be alone.”

ANC leaders asked about the matter previously would only say that it was an internal matter.


Read more on:    pietermaritzburg  |  protest  |  elections

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