Eight political parties and one independent candidate are contesting the by-election in  Mamusa. Picture: Molaole Montsho/African News Agency (ANA)
Eight political parties and one independent candidate are contesting the by-election in Mamusa. Picture: Molaole Montsho/African News Agency (ANA)

Parties battle for control of Mamusa

By Baldwin Ndaba Time of article published Jan 15, 2020

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Johannesburg - The battle for the control of the Mamusa Local Municipality in Schweizer Reneke in the North West looks set to have a chilling outcome as all contesting parties ANC, EFF, Forum for Service Delivery (FSD), Freedom Front Plus and DA have claimed victory ahead of elections on Wednesday.

More than 20 000 people will go to the polls and cast their votes in full municipal elections after the North West provincial government dissolved the previous municipality due to acts of corruption and maladministration in October last year.

In the run-up to these elections, most of the parties deployed their senior leaders to the small dorpie - the birthplace of ANC veteran and Rivonia Trialist Ahmed Kathrada - to lobby for votes.

The big guns included EFF’s Julius Malema, DA’s John Steenhuisen, FSD Mbahare Kekana while the ANC deployed Obed Bapela and former Northern Cape Premier Sylvia Lucas.

In the previous administration, the ANC was the majority party with 11 seats, while the FSD was the official opposition three seats. The EFF had two and DA and FF+ had one each.

On Tuesday, the ANC in the North West said they are going to retain their majority with a landslide victory.

ANC spokesperson Kenny Morolong said: “In Mamusa, our people have expressed their support for the decision of the provincial government to dissolve the municipal council. Our residents have indicated that despite various service delivery challenges, the ANC is the only political party that is committed to delivering a tangible socio-economic transformation in their communities with an undisputed record of effecting real changes in their lives.”

As for the FSD, the party has vowed that they would transcend as the official opposition to a governing party after Wednesday’s elections.

Kekana said: “We only need 13 000 votes to take control of the municipality. In 2016 we contested only five wards out of nine and we ended up with three proportional representatives seats."

He added: “We did not have resources at the time. We had nothing but we worked very hard. We spent two months sleeping in cars. I want to win a ward not a PR seat. I still commit that I will reward a candidate who can give us a ward seat with an amount of R100 000."

Equally confident was the EFF which drew large numbers of people to their electioneering rallies over the weekend.

EFF North West provincial secretary Papikie Babuile said Mamusa will be the first municipality in the country to be under the control of his party after the elections on Wednesday.

“We have spoken to 20 000 voters who attended our rallies and they have told us that they are going to vote for the EFF. We are contesting all nine wards and we are going to take all of them. We are not leaving anything to the sundry,” Babuile said.

The DA, however, is hoping to improve on its 2016 performance.

It's North West leader Joe McGluwa said his party had increased its election machinery saying they were hoping also to become the majority party after on Wednesday.

“As a first prize, we would like to retain ward 9 and gain other wards,” McGluwa said. He said his party had managed to engage various communities in the area who also gave them a commitment to vote for his party.

McGluwa was, however, critical of the initial decision to place the municipality under administration saying it was due to factional battles within the ANC.

But the North West MEC for Local Government Gordon Kegakilwe was adamant that the previous administration failed to deliver services to the local communities.

Kegakilwe said that prompted him to petition the Minister of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma and the National Council of Provinces (NCOP) to dissolve the local municipality.

Political Bureau

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