South Africa 19.9.2013 06:00 am

ANC plays dirty, says Tlokwe voters

ANC supporters outside  Tshupane Public Primary School in Tlokwe, 18 September 2013, during the local by-elections. Picture: Nigel Sibanda

ANC supporters outside Tshupane Public Primary School in Tlokwe, 18 September 2013, during the local by-elections. Picture: Nigel Sibanda

Pandemonium broke out during yesterday’s Tlokwe municipal by-elections in the North-West when incensed community members prevented a car from entering a voting centre.

The unrest was sparked by allegations that the ANC was playing dirty after people from as far as Rustenburg were brought in to come and vote in the by-elections at Ward 26.

Ward 26 is said to be the biggest in the area being contested, with more than 4 000 registered voters.

Police had to lock the gates at Tshupane Primary School when ANC members and independent candidate Butiki “Stone” Mahlabe’s supporters hurled insults at each other.

The ward was contested by ANC Paul Mogoshane, independent candidate Mahlabe and Uni-ted Christian Democratic Party Moeketsi Nathaniel Phakedi.

Mahlabe slammed the ANC, saying it was aware it was losing and is trying to intimidate people and cause confusion. He is one of 14 rebel councillors who was expelled from the ANC for voting to unseat Tlokwe mayor Maphetle Maphetle. Their expulsions triggered yesterday’s by-elections.

Democratic Alliance councillor Annette Combrink was voted in as the new mayor for a second time in July this year. ANC councillor George Mathuse denied claims that the party is intimidating people. “We are not learners in the process of elections. Yes, the contest is heavy. They are the ones intimidating people.”

Resident Ndondo Kalanku told The Citizen that the community feels used by the ANC. “We vote for them, but they dump us after winning the elections. It will be a miracle if the community vote for them. They are bribing us with food parcels. Food parcels will not buy us, we are not that cheap.”

Meanwhile, DA leader Helen Zille yesterday accused the ANC of brazen vote buying, abuse of power and political intimidation in Tlokwe. “Perhaps for the first time since 1994, the DA is seriously concerned that the 2014 natio-nal elections will be undermined by the ANC, whose conduct in Tlokwe reveals a party paranoid about its collapsing support and that will stop at nothing to retain power.”

ANC spokesman Jackson Mthembu hit back saying the remarks by the DA are the last kicks of a dying horse.

“What the ANC finds particularly disturbing is the view by Helen Zille that black people are so cheap politically that their votes can be bought with food,” he said.

 

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