Party battle to agree on names
“They have gone against all [President Jacob] Zuma said at the manifesto launch, and are turning our communities into their ‘kingdoms’ to do with as they please,” said a resident who asked to remain anonymous. ANC provincial executive committee (PEC) member Andile Lungisa said it was only five wards that were involved in the fight. “All the others are just opportunists.” The disgruntled wards from Port Elizabeth met provincial leaders at the party headquarters in Calata House in King William’s Town on Wednesday, where they were locked in meetings for hours with provincial deputy chairperson Sakhumzi Somyo and deputy secretary Helen Sauls-August. Masualle’s comments came after 10 of the 19 disgruntled wards from Nelson Mandela Bay protested at the party’s regional offices on Tuesday, complaining that the lists had been manipulated. Jay Phillip of Ward 44, which includes KwaNobuhle in Uitenhage, said they were surprised when they found out last weekend that the candidates fielded by the provincial party leaders were not the ones the branches had recommended. He said that in KwaNobuhle’s Ward 43, a candidate who was number three on the list was made number one, while in another instance, a candidate of the ANC also appeared on the list of the United Front for the same ward. “This provincial leadership can even field a dog as a candidate against a human being, as long as the dog will do as they say,” said Phillip. On Thursday, Masualle admitted to City Press he could not rule out the possibility of “ill intentions” in some instances regarding the list process. He attributed most of the problems to the “erroneous capturing” of names into the IEC system.
“As the PEC, we received a report from the PLC [provincial list committee] – charged with the coordination of the list processes – [saying] that the IEC has implemented a new system of registering candidates,” he said.
Masualle said that, in some cases, people erroneously put their ID numbers against other people’s names and, when the IEC registered captured the information using the ID numbers first instead of the names, the wrong people were “accidentally” registered.
He said such errors, unfortunately, were impossible for the ANC to correct, as the IEC had closed the submission date.
“We have explained this problem to those who were complaining – that it was not out of malice.”
The premier said the party’s leadership was addressing concerned branches in Nelson Mandela Bay and that Somyo was scheduled to meet party members there this weekend to ease tensions.
Thembisa Makeleni of Ward 27 in Soweto-On-Sea said it was disingenuous to blame the IEC system when the names were tampered with deliberately by the leadership.
Party members raised the alarm from the affected wards weeks before the lists were submitted to the IEC.
“There will be no campaigning by the ANC in our areas until we are heard,” vowed Makeleni.
Meanwhile, ANC national executive committee member and head of elections Nomvula Mokonyane told City Press that the rapid response team of the ANC – a body made up of