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ANC members hold top officials hostage

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Police had to be called to the provincial ANC’s headquarters in the city after members held deputy secretary Thandi Manikivana and administrator Mvusi Mdala hostage.

ANC members and supporters believed to be from Ward 39, which comprises Crossroads and Nyanga, as well as other parts of the ANC’s Dullah Omar region, stormed the party’s offices on Thursday, hours before the deadline for candidate lists to be handed in to the Independent Electoral Commission ahead of the local government election.

Members had been staging a sit-in which started on Tuesday after ANC secretary-general Gwede Mantashe announced the party had wrapped up its list processes.

On Thursday, members who were not happy with the nominations prevented party officials from submitting their candidate lists, prompting the leadership to call the police.

Police spokesman Lieutenant-Colonel André Traut said police were monitoring the situation. “No criminal cases have been registered and no damages or injuries have been reported. The police will remain on the scene to maintain law and order.”

Disgruntled members demanded to know why the lists were being submitted when there were still unresolved disputes

and appeals. We are aggrieved because our concerns are not being addressed. We want to know why names that have been nominated had been moved,” a member said.

Acting provincial chairman Khaya Magaxa confirmed that officials had been busy submitting the candidate nominations to the IEC when the disruption occurred. “We had to call in the police to ensure that the process was not disrupted and to ensure the safety of staff.”

Magaxa said by 5pm the list process had been finalised and the names of potential ward councillors were submitted.

Changes to the lists could no longer be made, he said. There were members who were unhappy with the movement of some names further down the list, he said, but this was done after a thorough selection process which included public participation.

Magaxa said it was the first time the ANC list processes included taking the names of potential candidates to the public to be vetted by the communities in which they worked.

“What these candidates do not understand is that they may have been top of the list during the branch general meetings, but that their names dropped lower after the public participation processes.”

He said in many cases the communities were not happy with the names submitted.

“There is no conspiracy, if the people did not support the four names presented to the list committees, the best candidates were selected with community approval.”

[Source: Cape Argus]
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