Pietermaritzburg – Eighteen ANC ward councillors in Msunduzi are set to be axed after the August 3 elections.
The party’s list of candidates, published by the Independent Electoral Commission, shows wholesale changes with most of those that had been given the nod after the 2011 local government elections getting the chop.
This is despite the party’s policy of retaining 60% of current serving councillors when selecting the candidates. Among the notable omissions on the list are Mayor Chris Ndlela and speaker Babu Baijoo.
– Elections Map: Previous Msunduzi results
ANC members in four wards that have been affected by the large scale changes have since registered as independent candidates — the total number of independent candidates in the municipality is 13. Regional secretary Mzi Zuma said the party had thought about the 60% policy when it elected its candidates.
“The issue of continuity was considered. Some of those candidates are not completely new, in the previous term they were PR councillors and this time they are standing as ward candidates,” he said.
Political analyst Xolani Dube described the issue of 60% retention as “subjective”.
“It depends on who is in power at the time. Are they in the lobby group of the incumbent higher structure? In terms of administration, this will not be a problem because councillors are not doing any administrative work. They play a public relations role in wards,” he said.
The future of Ndlela, whose name appeared as number three for the 2011 local government elections, was apparently sealed after the provincial conference when he supported former premier Senzo Mchunu’s unsuccessful bid to retain his chairperson position in the ANC’s provincial conference. Ndlela subsequently found himself at the bottom of the list during the regional list conference.
Out of 39 branches that participated in the list conference, only one branch nominated Ndlela.
The political future of uMngeni Mayor Mbali Myeni is also in doubt.
Zuma said the party was still in the process of determining the future of those who had held leadership positions. “After the elections, we will be able to indicate who will be elected as deputy mayors, speakers and other positions.”
Asked whether the omission of their names from the list meant they are not coming back to the municipality, Zuma said every party would have a two-day window period to add other names to their list.
Myeni’s name is fourth from the bottom of the party’s proportional representation candidates list, an indication that her chances of wearing mayoral chains after the elections are slim. Myeni unsuccessfully contested the position of provincial deputy secretary in the ANC conference last year.
Dube said some of the leaders facing the chop had become irrelevant as some of them had lost leadership positions in their regions or had no influence in the region. He said they were viewed as a liability rather than a strength.
The finalisation of the lists marks an end to the party’s tumultuous and sometimes violent nomination process in the Msunduzi region.
Four of the party’s branch members have been killed and there have been many violent protests after party members rejected nominated candidates.
Two councillors who faced protests calling for them to be removed from the party’s list of candidates, survived the chop.
Ward 12 councillor Siboniso Majola and Ward 18 councillor Sindisiwe Gwala still feature on the party’s list.
The finalisation of the party’s list also marks the beginning of another battle of the party’s factions.
A community meeting meant to introduce Ward 8 candidate Makhosazane Zondo had to be abandoned after it was disrupted by people said to be supporters of outgoing councillor Bethwell Ngcobo.
Branch members Sandile Ngcobo and Linda Zimu have since opened assault charges after they were injured when chaos broke out during the meeting.
Bethwell Ngcobo declined to comment on the interruptions, saying he had already left the meeting venue when chaos broke out.
List of names
The names listed behind the councillors of each ward below will replace these councillors in the ANC’s list of candidates in the Msunduzi area.
Ward 1 Lucky Mbanjwa replaced by Jabu Ngubo.
Ward 2 Simon Sokhela — Blessing Mtshali.
Ward 4 Thandiwe Buthelezi — Mlungusi Zondi
Ward 5 Bonga Shozi — Maxwell Mbanjwa.
Ward 6 Falakhe Makhathini — Snothi Mhlongo
Ward 7 Mbusiswa Mkhize — Sandile Ngubane.
Ward 8 Bethwell Ngcobo — Makhosazane Zondo
Ward 10 Msizi Ngcobo — Nkosinathi Gambu.
Ward 13 Bongani Dlomo — Gladness Mncwango
Ward 14 Sibusiso Mkhize — Thabiso Molefe.
Ward 17 Philisiwe Sithole — Thamsanqa Sithole
Ward 20 Thulani Xulu — Nelisiwe Ndlovu.
Ward 22 Patrick Jaca — Xolani Ngongoma
Ward 24 candidate Goodwill Ngidi — Prudence
Ward 32 Mary Schalkwyk — Clifford Crosson.
Ward 34 Eunice Majola — Michael Amod
Ward 35 Thandi Matiwane — Sandile Dlamini.
Jabulani Nene will replace ward 15 councillor Garnet Mlete who died last year, and Siphamandla Madlala will replace ward 29 councillor Thandi Ndlovu who died last month.
The ANC’s regional leadership had said Ndlovu’s name was had been omitted from the ANC’s list after protesters in Copesville had accused her of not fulfilling her duties.
Regional secretary Mzi Zuma has set the record straight regarding the surprise selection of Themba Njilo as the party’s Msunduzi mayoral candidate.
The announcement of his name had came as a surprise with ANC branch leaders saying Njilo had not been nominated by any branch during list conference.
Zuma said mayors are not chosen by the branches but are chosen by the leadership.
“The process has always been the responsibility of the leadership.
“Njilo is an ANC member in good standing. Historically, the first ANC president John Dube was elected as an ANC president in absentia,” he said.
Zuma said Njilo’s outreach programmes, bursary scheme, youth empowerment programmes and involvement in the fight against social ills had made him stand out during the selection process.
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