At the ANC rally, the party’s national executive committee member Dr Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma promised to remove fraudulently elected councillors after the elections.
Durban – Major political parties on Thursday embarked on a final push to win the heart and minds of the electorate for Monday’s local government election, with rallies being hosted in various parts of KwaZulu-Natal.
While the ANC hosted its Siyanqoba Rally in Umlazi, the IFP hosted its supporters at the Ulundi Stadium, now called the Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi Regional Stadium. DA leader John Steenhuisen addressed the DA’s final Joburg rally in Eldorado Park.
At the ANC rally, the party’s national executive committee (NEC) member Dr Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma promised to remove fraudulently elected councillors after the elections. There are fears within the governing party that some disgruntled members may not vote for it on Monday, when the country goes to the polls, if their candidates were unfairly elbowed out.
Even though she said they would remove the councillors, she stressed that the majority of councillor candidates the party was fielding had been correctly nominated to stand.
“If after the elections we realise that their nomination was fishy, we will correct it. However, we know that in most wards (the nominations) went well, but if that was not the case, as the ANC we are promising that will be rectified.
“The ANC has also made all incoming councillors take a code of conduct oath and assure communities that they will work with them together with the provincial and national governments,” she said.
In 2011, Dlamini Zuma was assigned by the ANC to investigate allegations that some councillors in eThekwini, such as former mayor Zandile Gumede, were fraudulently elected. In her report, she recommended that the ANC recall those councillors and have by-elections.
Later, while speaking to the media after the rally, Dlamini Zuma said this time around the removal of fraudulently elected councillors would happen because there was an ANC NEC resolution authorising the corrective measure.
Speaking at the same rally, eThekwini regional task team member Bheki Ntuli raised eyebrows when he said ANC volunteers should be given first preference when there were job opportunities in the eThekwini Municipality.
He was quick to qualify that by saying they would be given the jobs because they knew that they qualified for them.
The rally flouted almost all the key Covid-19 regulations, the main violation being overcrowding inside the stadium.
“Comrades, please keep your masks on, please. Forward with the wearing of masks, forward,” Nzuza said from the podium.
Addressing IFP supporters, party president emeritus and founder Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi decried the latest spate of political killings in the province, saying that those who are corrupt and devious see the chance for self-enrichment in councillor positions.
Buthelezi’s concerns over the political killings come as at least seven people have been murdered in what Police Minister Bheki Cele last week referred to as politically motivated killings in KwaZulu-Natal in recent weeks.
“Another serious problem that has come up in this campaign, as it has in every campaign before, is the problem of political killings,” Buthelezi said.
“Three years ago, the Moerane Commission of Inquiry into politically motivated killings in KwaZulu-Natal revealed the shift towards intra-party violence; that is, violence within a political party aimed at securing positions, income and the chance to influence tenders.”
He said that books like War Party had increasingly shone the spotlight on the governing party’s internal political war and that it was this very internal political war that unleashed devastation on KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng in July, when the arrest of former president Jacob Zuma sparked co-ordinated efforts to bring the country to its knees.
“Over the past month, several councillor candidates have been murdered while many others have gone into hiding under threats to their lives. Why would a councillor’s life be threatened? Not because they serve the community’s needs, but because those who are corrupt and devious see in councillor positions the chance for self-enrichment,” Buthelezi said.
Steenhuisen and the party’s mayoral candidate for Joburg, Dr Mpho Phalatse, have vowed to show Eskom the door if the DA takes over Joburg after the November 1 elections, following the power utility’s decision to place the country under stage 4 load shedding.
They stated independent power producers and City Power were the next in line to supply electricity to the entire City of Joburg if they govern.
Steenhuisen was adamant the stage 4 load shedding was due to corruption: “When you appoint corrupt, useless cadres, you get Eskom blackouts, you get job shedding, you get water shedding. When you appoint capable people, you get things done. If the DA has the most seats, we will govern.
“During five years of the DA-run government, you can expect to see and experience steady improvements to service delivery as we implement our winning formula, which is to appoint people based on merit, and spend public money on the public.
“We will cancel corrupt contracts, stabilise the finances, get the basics done and turn this metro around. Our winning formula works, and it shows in municipal rankings.”