Former loyal ANC supporters in Diepsloot, north of Joburg, have turned their backs on the governing party because of “unfulfilled promises, corruption and favouritism”.
The informal settlement has seen violent protests in 2004, 2009 and last year over lack of service delivery.
Some residents have now decided to cut ties with the ANC, accusing it of being arrogant and of not listening.
They have vowed to teach the party a lesson on May 18 by voting for the DA, while others said they would abstain. The residents are also unhappy with councillor candidates in two wards.
They say Abraham Mabuke of ward 113 and ward 95’s Rodgers Makhubele were imposed on them by the ANC’s provincial leadership.
Mabuke and Makhubele are out on bail after being arrested on charges of conspiracy to commit murder. It is alleged they hired a hitman to kill three SA National Civic Organisation leaders and one senior member of the SA Communist Party in the area.
ANC provincial chairman Paul Mashatile said the party stood by the two men: “We’d like to keep them as councillors because nothing has been proven in court. These allegations could turn out to be baseless.”
A community leader said the preferred councillor candidates were deprived of the opportunity to stand as independents because the ANC announced its two candidates after the deadline for registration had passed. He said: “That is why people will vote DA or stay away.”
As for Joseph Pitsi, who has lived in Diepsloot since 1996, he wants nothing more to do with the ANC: “I’m being used as a stepladder by some people to enrich themselves. For the first time, I will vote for the DA.”
Former ANC supporters Collen Shai and Martin Manganye said the best and only way of protesting against the governing party’s “empty promises” was to vote for the opposition.