ANC split in Philippi

Supporters of the incumbent councillor say they will not allow voting in August

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Photo of protesters
ANC supporters protest at their constituency office in Philippi. Photo: Bernard Chiguvare

On Friday, more than 50 ANC supporters, mostly women clad in yellow party T-shirts, protested at the ANC constituency office over the candidate standing in the 3 August election for ward 80, Philippi.

One group wants Elliot Mqolombane, who is the official candidate on the ballot; another group want Thembinkosi Pupa, the incumbent councillor, to stay.

“We want the sitting councillor Thembinkosi Pupa or Arosi Nonthuzelo as our candidate in ward 80,” said Neliswa Buza.

Buza said Pupa had created jobs in the area during his term and brought electrification.

But others, such as Zoliswa Libalele, want change.

“We are sure Elliot will bring a change in the community. We are very sure of his capabilities,” said Libalele.

Pupa’s tenure has been contentious. In September 2014, Pupa’s office was burnt down by residents from the Phantsi kweCingo informal settlement. There have been numerous protests in ward 80 going back to March 2012, when toilets were burnt on the corner of Duinefontein and Lansdowne Roads. In July that year, police used rubber bullets.

But Pupa’s supporters have threatened that if the ANC does not listen to them, they will not allow any voting to take place in Philippi.

Jabu Mfusi, ANC provincial spokesperson, said: “The issue of candidates has been long back resolved. We are now going forward canvassing for votes.”

“Law will take its course if people try to block or disturb voters on the voting day,” said Mfusi.

TOPICS:  Local Elections 2016

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