David Mabuza’s campaign abruptly cut short in Newcastle without explanation
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ANC Deputy President David Mabuza’s campaign trail in Newcastle, KwaZulu-Natal, ended abruptly without any explanation yesterday as he left without addressing a scheduled meeting with the community.
In what is now the final stretch of election campaigning, Mabuza, accompanied by ANC provincial secretary Mdumiseni Ntuli and ANC eMalahleni Region chairperson Dr Ntuthuko Mahlaba, visited townships, including Osizweni, to woo voters.
Earlier Mabuza engaged in a door-to-door campaign in which residents laid bare their struggles, including a lack of water supply, unemployment, damaged roads and sewerage, among others, with Mabuza saying that service delivery had been adversely affected by the Covid-19 pandemic.
Mabuza wrapped up his campaign without addressing residents as he had been expected to do, with reports saying that he had to travel to Pretoria for other commitments, although this was unclear.
Attempts to get an explanation for Mabuza’s abrupt departure were unsuccessful, with both Ntuli and Mahlaba not available to comment on why Mabuza had not addressed the scheduled community meeting.
Earlier in the day Mabuza said he had encountered a positive mood as he campaigned in the township of Osizweni, adding that residents had shown a willingness to head to the polls on November 1.
“They’ve got a problem with water and the roads, but the biggest thing is the formalisation of the place. It must be formalised. We must establish a township so that they can bring a lot of services. That is on the cards and it’s going to happen,” Mabuza said.
Mahlaba, who is currently facing assault and theft charges at the Newcastle Magistrate’s Court, has been omitted from the ANC candidates’ list for the elections. He said he respected the party’s decision to leave him off the list pending the outcome of his case.
Last month Mahlaba was re-elected unopposed at the ANC eMalahleni regional conference in Newcastle. He said this indicated that there was maximum unity within the party in the region.
He said they had made a commitment to serve their communities and they would make sure that they increased the speed of service delivery to residents in the area.
“There are still challenges and hence, as the ANC, we are admitting that where there are challenges we are prepared to correct that and make sure that we move forward and deliver services to our people,” Mahlaba said.
With the elections now just over a week away, Mahlaba said there was a high level of unity within the region and various structures and members of the party were working well together to achieve victory at the polls.
“When it’s time for elections or any organisational work, we put aside any differences and work towards securing victory for the African National Congress. We are prioritising unity to make sure that we maximise service delivery. We are committed to do that,” Mahlaba said.