ANC ac­cused of dirty play in Nel­son Man­dela Bay

CityPress - - News - LUBABALO NGCUKANA lubabalo.ngcukana@city­

With the ANC’s ma­jor­ity in the Nel­son Man­dela Bay metro hang­ing by a thread, op­po­si­tion par­ties in the re­gion are cry­ing foul and say­ing the gov­ern­ing party is us­ing dirty tricks ahead of a cru­cial by-elec­tion.

With less than two weeks be­fore the by-elec­tion in Ward 30, op­po­si­tion par­ties are al­ready ac­cus­ing the ANC of us­ing its in­cum­bency to sti­fle the com­pe­ti­tion by “block-book­ing” the only two com­mu­nity halls avail­able in Ward 30 un­til Au­gust 17. The by-elec­tions are on Au­gust 19. The halls will be used by the In­de­pen­dent Elec­toral Com­mis­sion from Au­gust 18 for vot­ing in the by-elec­tion.

Ward 30 is made up of two ar­eas, Veeplaas and KwaMagx­aki.

It has be­come a po­lit­i­cal bat­tle­field for the three main par­ties in the coun­cil – the ANC, DA and United Demo­cratic Move­ment (UDM) – all vy­ing to win this ward.

Ward 30 was for­merly con­trolled by the ANC un­til the death of coun­cil­lor Mike Tofile in April.

His death left the ward va­cant, forc­ing a by-elec­tion.

The ANC has a slim ma­jor­ity of only three. If the party loses the ward, it will put a fur­ther strain on its al­ready frag­ile ma­jor­ity.

Mongameli Bobani, UDM leader in the metro, claimed his party would welcome 1 000 for­mer ANC mem­bers, in­clud­ing the mother of for­mer mayor Zanox­olo Way­ile, who has ditched the ANC for the UDM at Ward 30.

“Gen­eral [Bantu] Holomisa will be in Port El­iz­a­beth next week to welcome the for­mer ANC mem­bers who have now joined the UDM and will help us in cam­paign­ing to win Ward 30.

“We are con­fi­dent we will win be­cause the peo­ple there are tired of the ANC and its empty prom­ises,” said Bobani.

Michael Jarvis, cam­paign man­ager for the DA, said his party had been work­ing in Ward 30 and con­duct­ing door-to-door cam­paign­ing in the past six weeks.

“We have de­cided we will not be de­railed by that and are us­ing al­ter­na­tive venues to do our work.

“It is clear the ANC is in­tim­i­dated and knows that change is com­ing,” said Jarvis.

He said that, closer to the by-elec­tion, the party would bring in its big guns, in­clud­ing DA leader Mmusi Maimane.

The ANC dis­missed as base­less the claims that it had booked all halls in Ward 30.

It said the claims were un­founded and only served to “name-drop” the gov­ern­ing party’s name by op­po­si­tion par­ties to gain po­lit­i­cal mileage.

“It’s a fig­ment of their imag­i­na­tion,” said ANC pro­vin­cial sec­re­tary Os­car Mabuyane.

“We have only booked the halls we are go­ing to use.

“The prob­lem with the op­po­si­tion par­ties is that they al­ways need to use the name of the ANC in or­der to be rel­e­vant,” added Mabuyane.

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