The ANC in the Moses Mabhida region is pinning its hopes on the postponement of the local government polls after its nomination processes descended into “chaos”.
Community voting processes in some wards were not concluded, while some ANC branches were yet to nominate their councillor candidates when the Independent Electoral Commission deadline for the submission of candidates lapsed on Monday evening.
Even in ANC branches which concluded their branch general meetings (BGMs), the names of candidates which were submitted to the IEC could be challenged, as the ruling party had not yet dealt with objections lodged by disgruntled ANC branch members.
In Pietermaritzburg’s ward 32, which includes Woodlands, boxes were allegedly burnt amid claims that they contained fraudulent ballots.
According to sources, ANC leaders at the branch called off the voting process despite the fact that several community members were still in queues to cast their votes.
“They brought in boxes which they claimed were from some voting districts within the ward but when we investigated we found that not even a single community member went to those voting districts.
“Despite all these irregularities the ballots were still counted and a winner was announced. How can you claim to have a legitimate candidate when community members were barred from voting,” an ANC ward 32 member said.
While ANC ward 32 branch chairperson, Vincent Myeni, conceded that there were problems in the community voting process, he denied that the ANC branch leadership was to blame.
“People can make whatever allegations, but the fact of the matter is that there has not been any formal investigation and as such the allegation remains unproven.
“It’s also not true that the results from the community voting process were used to decide on the names of candidates who were ultimately submitted to the ANC regional leadership. The truth of the matter is that the process was declared null,” Myeni, who denied that ballot boxes were burnt, said.
In other parts of the region, BGMs were yet to sit and nominate councillor candidates when the IEC deadline to submit councillor candidates lapsed last night.
ANC Moses Mabhida regional task team (RTT) co-ordinator, Mandla Zondi, said the bulk of the problems emanated from within communities, and not the ANC.
“Most of the ANC branches nominated their candidates but the challenges were mainly in the community processes. Some communities disrupted meetings while others simply boycotted the voting process.
“In such instances, the ANC was left with no other option but to revert to the candidates which were nominated during ANC BGMs,” he said.
Zondi said that the ANC provincial leadership, would now have to decide on how to handle the matter around incomplete processes.
The Constitutional Court is currently considering the IEC application for the postponement of the October local government elections.
While Zondi said he would respect the ConCourt’s decision, he made it clear that he would be relieved if the polls were postponed.
“I’m praying that they should be postponed,” he said.