“This initiative [of an independent candidate] is a proposal from the community,” Tshepo Chempe said outside the polling station at the Boikhotso Secondary School in Ikageng, Potchefstroom. That was why independent candidate Khotso Ratikoane had been asked to contest the by-election.
“We want good governance, we want ownership, community ownership. Only us as a community can give a mandate to Khotso.” Chempe said he and Ratikoane were members of the SA National Civic Organisation (Sanco). Ratikoane had been working with Sanco in the community since 2009. “We have seen his work, he is passionate,” said Chempe.
“We are confident he has the support of the community.” No independent candidate has won the ward before. The ward nine by-election in Tlokwe was being contested by five candidates.
They are: Mary Segogonyane Mosieleng of the ANC, Democratic Alliance candidate Jacky Tobolo, the Congress of the People candidate Phiri Abram Khoarai, Ratikoane, and African People’s Convention candidate Matong Ben Tshesebe.
Thabang Letsogo, an African National Congress Youth League secretary in the region, said he was confident the ANC would win the ward again.
“History is going to repeat itself, the ANC is going to win the majority,” he said. “It will continue delivering in this area.” Letsogo was very proud of the fact that he had already voted. “I have confidence in the ANC, my vote is not a secret,” he said holding up his thumb with a black mark showing he had voted.
Cope provincial secretary Rammupudu Mooketsi said his party in the North West had done the spade work before the by-election. “We are very confident about our candidate,” he said. “We are aware that this is a heavily contested election… [but] a miracle might happen.”
Mooketsi said ward nine needed a reputable, transparent, grassroots leader, which Cope had. He said Cope had become more relevant in the North West and its candidate had the community at heart.