Angry residents threaten to boycott by-elections

Published Apr 3, 2016


Cape Town - An ANC-aligned group in Kuyasa, Khayelitsha, representing more than 5 000 voters, is threatening to boycott the municipal elections this year.

They want their own councillor for Kuyasa, not representation by a councillor from neighbouring Makaza.

Last month they locked the gates and blocked the entrances to two voting stations in Kuyasa, preventing potential voters from registering.

These were the only voting stations in the Western Cape where no voters registered and the Independent Electoral Commission of South Africa (IEC) was prevented from setting up shop.

It seems there is a split in the ANC in the area.

The councillor, Makaza-based Mpucuko Nguzo, and his supporters are up against another ANC member, Thandixolo Wili, who is deputy secretary of the SA National Civic Organisation (Sanco) in the area.

The protesters prefer Wili, said Sanco organiser Pasika Ketsile and executive member Gladys Olifant, even though he wasn’t put forward as a candidate by the ANC.

The Wili group are concerned they will fall under Nguzo’s potential successor, Zwelijikile Mndila, who is also from Makaza. They also reject two other Makaza-based candidates and one from nearby Harare.

They believe the Kuyasa community’s services and projects, including the development of an empty field plagued by crime, will be neglected unless they have a representative from the area.

Mndila said: “It’s an ANC matter, so I don’t want to interfere.”

Nguzo told Weekend Argus he was bowing out with his head held high. He was “extremely proud” of having arranged electricity, a clinic and the upgrade of a park as well as establishing a new park for Kuyasa during his term.

On Tuesday a Western Cape ANC delegation led by acting head Khaya Magaxa accompanied by ANC regional treasurer Patric Mngxunyeni and ANC MPL Richard Jantjies held a three-hour meeting with the disgruntled group.

Hundreds packed a community hall and outlined their woes.

The ANC leadership undertook to meet the IEC and the Municipal Demarcation Board before next weekend’s round of voter registration to try to resolve the issues.

Magaxa said the disgruntled group enjoyed support in the area, including from other political parties such as the PAC.

Nguzo was of the opinion the protesters represented “a very tiny faction of the ANC who has nothing to complain about and don’t know what they want”.

“I’ve been driving development in the area and I know I have the support of the majority of the people of Kuyasa. Why didn’t they mobilise and lobby for their candidate to be chosen?”

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Weekend Argus

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