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Johannesburg - Eight expelled ANC councillors in the Tlokwe Municipality in North West have defied attempts by the ruling party to return them to their fold before by-elections next month.
On Monday, the eight registered with the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) in Mahikeng as independent candidates for by-elections scheduled for September 18 in Potchefstroom.
They were among 14 councillors expelled by the provincial ANC office for helping the DA to pass a vote of no confidence against then Mayor Maphetle Maphetle last month.
David Kham - former ANC chief whip in the Tlokwe Municipality - confirmed on Monday night that he was part of the group of eight who had registered as independent candidates with the IEC. He refused to disclose the identities of the other candidates.
Kham also refused to comment on the findings of the ANC’s national disciplinary committee (NDC) which ruled that their expulsion was in breach of the ANC’s constitution.
In his ruling, NDC chairman Derek Hanekom said: “ The NDC upheld the preliminary point raised by the councillors that they were not given the required time as prescribed in the ANC constitution to prepare their defence and decided, as it is entitled to do in terms of the constitution, to hear the case afresh.”
In acquitting them, Hanekom said the North West ANC only decided to charge the 14 after seven months, which was in breach of the constitution.
The ruling, however, did not stop eight councillors from registering as independent candidates.
“I am not a member of the ANC. Do not ask me about ANC matters.
“Ask me about the programme of independent candidates. Yes, eight of us met the IEC deadline to register as candidates. I am done with the ANC,” Kham said, adding that the provincial ANC had not spoken to him about the NDC ruling as it had promised in a statement on Sunday.
North West IEC electoral officer Tumi Thiba confirmed that the nine vacant wards in Tlokwe would be contested by eight independent candidates and five different political parties.
The ANC has named 10 of its candidates for the by-elections, but the list does not include any of the expelled members.