Disputes over Pietermaritzburg election candidates spill over into violence

ANC office-bearers lay charges of assault

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Photo of ANC office-bearers
Linda Zimu (left) and Sandile Ngcobo have laid charges of assault after a meeting to introduce candidates turned violent. Photo: Ntombi Mbomvu

Two ANC office-bearers have laid charges at Eshowe police station after disputes over candidates for the August elections spilled over into violence.

Youth League chairperson in Ward 9 in Msunduzi, Sandile Ngcobo, and branch coordinator Linda Zimu were physically attacked during a meeting last Thursday to introduce candidates. They have laid a complaint of assault. No arrest has been made.

The meeting, in KwaMncane community hall, was aimed at introducing Makhosazane Zondo as the candidate for ward 9. Zondo replaces current ward councillor Bethwell Ngcobo.

Sandile Ngcobo said the current councillor and his supporters had been present in the meeting.

He said a fire had been started near the gate to prevent people from leaving the hall during the attacks. “Their target was Zondo but we managed to move her away from the hall. When they saw that she was no longer there they attacked us. Some of our members managed to run away but some of us were beaten. We also fought while they attacked us. They used sticks and one of them was carrying a knife.”

By the time the police had arrived the fights were over, he said. Ngcobo said he had a head injury and had to have stitches.

He accused ward councillor Ngcobo and his supporters of launching the attacks. But the councillor denied involvement. “I left the hall immediately when the attacks happened,” said Bethwell Ngcobo.

Three ward councillors against whom community members had protested are still on the list: Ward 12 councillor Sboniso Majola, ward 18 Sindisiwe Gwala and ward 11 Sipho Madonda.

But Ward 1 councillor Lucky Mbanjwa, against whom there were protests last month, has been replaced on the list by Jabu Ngubo.

In ward 29 (Copesville), whose councillor Thandi Ndlovu died in June, the candidate is Siphamandla Madlala. GroundUp has been covering the Copesville protests against Ndlovu.

Philisiwe Sithole, also the target of community protest, has been replaced on the list by Thamsanqa Sithole.

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TOPICS:  Elections

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