“If we are to be killed for restoring power back into the hands of the community, let our blood nourish the soil."
SIX OF the expelled ANC councillors who will contest the February 13 by-elections as independent candidates said that despite receiving death threats they would continue fighting for the community.
The independent candidates – Gladys Monyamane (Ward 9), Yvonne Qonga (Ward 11), Magdeline Mokgaladi (Ward 12), Rachel Wapad (Ward 13), Boitumelo Stout (Ward 16) and Pius Tshite (Ward 19) – said that they were prepared to die defending their respective wards and the rights of the community.
Speaking publicly for the first time since their expulsion, the independents added that they were accused of being involved in fraud and are victims of a smear campaign.
“We are the ones who are fighting corruption and were intent on preventing the theft of hard-earned taxpayers’ money. We were warned that we would never work in the Province ever again.
“The real reason why we were expelled is because we spoke out against the wrongdoing of an elite group of ANC individuals. Where were they when the community was in outcry over the R260 basic electricity levy?
“If we are to be killed for restoring power back into the hands of the community, let our blood nourish the soil.
“Why can’t voters be given jobs before the elections instead of just getting empty promises of employment.”
Tshite stated that they would never be deterred by scare tactics.
“False information is also being spread that we have joined the DA and EFF. We have been defamed and are the targets of character assassinations, lies and underhanded tricks. However, we will remain principled and honest and will not stoop down to their level. We will see who wins at the polls.”
The independent candidates believed that one of the main reasons for their expulsion from the ANC was because they were pressurising council to implement the findings of the Section 106 investigation report at Sol Plaatje Municipality.
“Certain personalities who benefited from public funds are being protected at all costs. Why did no one from the municipality oppose the interdict obtained by the suspended chief financial officer to rescind the report? We were charged and hastily removed from council when we insisted that a forensic audit and skills audit of all employees be conducted at the municipality.”
Tshite added that the expelled councillors had advised against appointing an executive mayor who had been dismissed from the municipality in 2007 after he was found guilty of maladministration and flouting procedures.
“We were punished for not being ‘yes boys’. We will not remain silent when the rights of the community are being trampled on. The community encouraged us to contest as independents because we are not only occupying seats in council to collect salaries.”
He pointed out that should independent candidates win the seven vacant wards, the opposition would be in the minority.
“If we return to council we will not be playing politics and are not out to take revenge against our expulsion. As independents, we will obtain our mandate directly from the people we serve and will not be dictated to by any organisation.”