Tshwane ANC members take to the streets over Didiza nomination

Pretoria - ANC members have taken to the streets to express dissatisfaction with the nomination of Thoko Didiza as the mayoral candidate for the party in Tshwane.

"We have branches of the ANC here. They have a concern [with the nomination] because they were not consulted as branches," one of the members told News24.


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A small group closed down Schoeman Street and overturned a Tshwane Metro Police car at the corner of Schoeman and Beckett streets, next to the Court Classique Boutique hotel, in protest against the nomination. 

A motorist's phone was taken away and destroyed by the group after they tried to take pictures of the protest. Stones were also hurled at people living in nearby flats who were trying to take pictures.

The ANC announced the nomination of Didiza earlier on Monday and called on members to support the nomination and not resort to violence.

Factions

Didiza's name was announced after the provincial executive committee (PEC) had rejected the initial names that were submitted. The party announced the names of all its mayoral candidates on Saturday, with Tshwane being the exception.

There are currently two factions in the capital, with one supporting the incumbent Mayor Kgosientso Ramokgopa, who also happens to be the regional chairperson, and another in favour of his deputy, Mapiti Matsena.

The protesting party members said they wanted Ramokgopa to continue leading the city, even after the upcoming elections.

"They [branches] wanted the current mayor to serve for another term, but they were imposed on with Thoko Didiza. They are very concerned about the decision," a member said.

ANC deputy secretary general Jessie Duarte told the media on Monday that Ramokgopa was not on the list of three names that were submitted by the Regional Executive Committee to the PEC regarding who should be the mayor.

'Intense competition'

"The decision of the PEC is final and we are respecting it. Also, in the three names that were submitted, he was not amongst the three," said Duarte.

During her address, she condemned acts of violence and said the party would deal with them and any person who thought their personal prospects depended on violence.

"We would condemn any forms of violence. We also signed the IEC code of ethics. If people have a mind of creating any disturbances, we will not hesitate to deal with them internally in a very harsh manner," she said.

Duarte admitted that the process of nominating a mayoral candidate for Tshwane had left the region divided.

"The intensity of the competition in Tshwane had led to a breakdown of relationships between two key individuals. They will still be the regional leadership. We want to give then the opportunity to focus their minds on building the ANC structurally and making sure they go back to the branch and work hard to unify the ANC," she said.

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