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Protest over ANC ward candidate


The group burnt tyres and blockaded the road after their preferred ANC candidate, Martin White, was not selected

Picture: Danie van der Lith

A GROUP of residents in Ward 28 in Colville took to the streets to protest the selection of the ANC candidate for the upcoming by-elections.

The ward is tightly contested by the ANC and the DA. The DA won the ward in the previous municipal elections with Shaine Griqua under the blue banner.

About two months ago, however, Griqua defected to the ANC, resulting in a vacancy being declared in the ward.

On Monday night a group of residents voiced their anger over the nomination of the ANC candidate to contest the upcoming by-election.

The group burnt tyres and blockaded the road after their preferred ANC candidate, Martin White, was not selected.

The residents cried foul yesterday after what they called irregularities in the candidate nomination process.

According to a resident, Barnie Kock, ANC members in the area were called to a meeting in the Sweden Park Hall to nominate a candidate. “The meeting was led by Mangaliso Matika and Shaine Griqua. They introduced the three candidates – Martin White, Sebrina Engelbrecht and Sonia August. We were then told to stand by the candidate we preferred. Most of us went to stand by White.”

According to Kock, Matika and Griqua then did a headcount.

Kock added that Griqua was already promoting Engelbrecht on his Facebook page before the nomination meeting and when the announcement was made on Monday, Engelbrecht was named as the candidate to represent Ward 28 in the April 10 by-elections.

“We are very angry. We stood by White and you would have to be blind if you couldn’t see that White enjoyed the majority support,” Kock said.

The residents’ anger at the outcome boiled over and they barricaded streets and burnt tyres.

“We also want to know why Matika and Griqua presided over this nomination meeting. This isn’t even his ward. As for Griqua, he is just an ordinary comrade like me,” Kock said.

Residents have threatened to continue their protest action until Matika explains his actions.

Matika said yesterday that the “disgruntled” members had every right to approach the upper structures of the ANC.

“If they are unhappy with the outcome, they are quite welcome to approach the provincial structures of the party. We followed due processes in the nomination process.”

Matika added that he had spoken to White on Monday before the announcement was made. “He (White) indicated that he was happy with the outcome and would support the candidate.”

Residents threatened to take to the streets again if Matika did not address them.

Late yesterday afternoon the situation was calm.