It's been a protracted weekend - the ANC has open toilets of its own, while the DA is being taken to task by the ACDP in Stellenbosch. Helen Zille launches another election poster in Soweto, while the IFP readies itself to meet with the IEC in the Constitutional Court. Cope has high expectations in Northern Cape. The ACDP also waxes on about xenophobia. By SIMON WILLIAMSON.
Fast off a week of repeated DA-stabbing references to Makhaza, the ANC may have to answer similar accusations regarding 1,600 toilets which were left open, a case which has seen a complaint lodged with the SA Human Rights Commission, reported the Sunday Times. The mayor of the Moqhaka municipality (you know it as Kroonstad), Mantebu Mokgosi, passed questions on to acting technical services manager Mike Lelaka. Lelaka, obviously before he was told what not to say, told Sunday Times there was an agreement with residents that the municipality would provide sanitation and residents would enclose the structures (sound familiar?). Quite coincidentally, Lelaka also said there was a project in action to close the bogs, but that the council was short of funds to complete the project. Sunday Times’ investigation follows a similar City Press report on the same issue in July last year.
Jackson Mthembu, ANC national spokesman, said the party was not aware of any open toilets in the area, “Whatever the circumstance, it’s unacceptable. We will investigate, and whoever is responsible will have to answer. We cannot allow our people to be disrespected like that. It’s even worse if that’s being done by an ANC municipality.” Wethinks Jackson may be in for surprises, as residents in Kwadabeka (outside Pinetown, KwaZulu Natal) in the ANC-run eThekwini municipality have voiced similar concerns.
Lindiwe Mazibuko, DA national spokeswoman, said the HRC is due to meet today to discuss its report on the open toilets in the Moqhaka municipality. Protocol dictates that this usually means a commissioner needs to sign off a report which takes two days before it is then released.
Mazibuko was not to be disappointed: the report was indeed released. Read it on Politicsweb.
A report by the Gauteng freeway improvement project, basically the people who are going to tell the Gauteng government by just how much they are allowed to screw the province’s road users via toll fees, will be completed next week. A spokesman for the provincial transport department, Sam Monareng, said the report will be consolidated by 13 May before another meeting with stakeholders is convened. In a nutshell: There is more chance of Jimmy Manyi joining the DA than that report seeing the light of day before the local elections on 18 May.
Loveliness Mazibuko, an ANC candidate standing in the Midvaal municipality, has been attacked by three men who said “ANC se kak, jou kaffir” [something along the lines of “Bugger the ANC, you kaffir”] in a political assault during which her shoulder and neck were injured. A spokesman for the ANC, Brian Hlongwa, said Mazibuko was in the Heidelberg Hospital and he criticised the DA’s handling of the removal of a Hendrik Verwoerd statue in the area, saying it could have led to “a highly charged atmosphere”. The DA has denied any responsibility for the attack through spokesman Gareth van Onselen who said, “It is sickening. The DA will continue to fight on the issues and service delivery and our track record in Midvaal, which we believe is excellent.”
The ANC Womens’ League campaign, spearheaded by minister of basic education Angie Motshekga, is moving into Mpumalanga: “Mpumalanga marks the eighth province in the programme since the launch of the 30 Days Non-Stop Electioneering Campaign on the 1 April 2011 in Free State.” By our count, 30 days of non-stop electioneering from the 1 April would (a) keep Angie Motshekga out of her ministerial role where she is desperately needed because (b) 30 days of non-stop electioneering (inclusive) from 1 April would get one to 30 April. This statement was released on 6 May. The campaign continues to 13 May.
Gwede Mantashe has told worshippers in Cala, Eastern Cape, to vote and pray for the ANC. In a statement which would make Jesus cringe, Mantashe said, “We are promising to give you water, electricity, roads and street lights, but only if you pray for the ANC and that we win the elections.” Because Jesus gives things through the ANC, evidently.
Strangely enough, after Lynn Brown’s remarks about Helen Zille (see below), a branded ANC helicopter was seen hovering over Alexandra before a visit by ANCYL president Julius Malema, human settlements minister Tokyo Sexwale and Gauteng Premier Nomvula Mokonyane. Malema said government was responding to concerns in Alexandra that no officials ever visited the area. “Today, we are not going to talk, we want the people of Stjwelta and Jukskei… We want ordinary people to tell us what they need,” said Malema.
Opposition parties had a go at minister of state security Siyabonga Cwele’s wife who was convicted and sentenced to 12 years imprisonment for drug trafficking. The IFP congratulated the NPA on a successful prosecution and said the ruling showed our judiciary is independent. The ACDP called on President Jacob Zuma to fire Cwele. Said ACDP leader Kenneth Meshoe: “How can such a person be aware of drug trafficking in his community and the country if he cannot detect one in his own house?”
Minister of sport and ANC NEC member, Fikile Mbalula, said on Friday the party’s campaign is hotting up and should overcome voter apathy. Addressing a crowd of ANC volunteers in Khayelitsha, Mbalula said getting people to the polls was the only way to win the city back from the DA.
Read more: IOL
The ANC threw a rally in Northern Cape this weekend attended by both Zuma and Malema. Zuma told the crowd in Galeshewe Stadium in Kimberley that (Mandela quote) “it would take time” to bring about change in South Africa. Before Zuma took the stand, Malema had the crowd going. He also criticised protests saying citizens should not be complaining while watering the lawn in front of their RDP houses and, “when protesting they burn tyres on a tar road, but they complain no delivery”. Malema then pushed the mines-nationalisation talk we’ve come to know and love so well (in a province and area where mining is a key industry) and then nonsensically said “We (ANC) had done everything in fighting poverty, but we do not have money,” before closing with the YL’s version of land redistribution policy which involved just taking land away.
Read more: IOL
The ruling party has gone beyond the limits of the 11 national languages and printed election posters in Greek, Italian and Portuguese for communities in Johannesburg.
The ANC hosted another version of its town-hall style meetings on Twitter on Friday afternoon. Unfortunately, nothing seems to have come of it besides a lot of unanswered questions and bucketloads of thanks for participating.
ANC provincial secretary in Western Cape, Songezo Mjongile, has released one of the weirder statements we have come across. It takes issue with Helen Zille using a private jet to get around the country while preaching thriftiness for the Western Cape government. To my knowledge, that was a helicopter. The funny part, though, is that he quotes himself at the end: “‘She sits like a rich business woman in the jet with no bleeding heart for those over whose heads she flies, while many people in this country below do not even have a chair to sit on’, says Mjongile.”
Read more: Politicsweb
The DA will be charged with fraud in Stellenbosch by the ACDP for forging a signature on a petition to the Western Cape high court in 2009. Grant Haskin, Western Cape leader of the ACDP, said, “The ACDP first exposed this fraud to the media at our campaign launch in Stellenbosch on 14 April 2011 after public allegations were made by the SCA on 8 April 2011. We publicly challenged the DA to admit or deny this allegation, but they have ignored us for a month now, obviously hoping to hide it at least until after the 18 May elections.” The ACDP statement goes on to say that senior DA leaders have known about this fraud since 2009 yet have done nothing. Unfortunately we could not reach the DA for comment. We will keep you updated.
The DA launched a new campaign poster in Soweto on Friday which contains the words “Your Vote Can Win It”. Party leader Helen Zille said in a speech at the launch of the poster outside Jabulani Mall: “Our polling and our experience on the ground indicate a significant shift in black support towards the DA in this election. That is why so many councils hang in the balance. These include the major urban centres of Johannesburg, Tshwane and Nelson Mandela Bay (Port Elizabeth). “
Helen Zille released a statement on Sunday saying, “The will to win runs deep in the DA” and that the party was not just solely focusing on these elections, but has a long-term view of governing more of South Africa. Zille mentioned four points which form part of a plan to focus on national government: diverse leadership, an in-party body to monitor performance in all DA-run entities, service delivery contracts/agreements with mayors and the establishment of party structures in rural areas.
Shadow premier of Western Cape and ANC member, Lynn Brown, has accused Patricia de Lille of using state resources to push her election campaign. “De Lille is the MEC for social development at provincial level and has no mandate whatsoever or competency in her present capacity to invade operational areas or interfere in operational matters (which is prohibited by law)” and “The DA always shouts blue murder about separating state and party affairs, but around every corner the DA breaks this rule and blurs that divide.”
Today, 9 May 2011, DA Leader Helen Zille will go on a walkabout in Walmer, Port Elizabeth, where she will meet residents and tell the public the power for change lies with them and their vote.
Cope leader Mosiuoa Lekota told ANC supporters in Bronville (near Welkom) on Friday they should vote for a candidate they know. Local Cope ward candidate Gift May joined Lekota in campaigning and the pair spoke to residents about how municipal budget procedures worked saying, “Every year you must be informed and you must ask questions what happened to the money for this area”. A Bronville resident allegedly told Lekota that the ward’s current councillor had bought a house in Welkom after he was elected and that people who wished to see him were forced to save up taxi fares for the journey.
Although Cope did well in Northern Cape in the 2009 provincial elections (snagging 15% of the vote – more than the DA), in-fighting has reduced the party’s influence throughout South Africa, although officials say this has not affected the province, writes Mandy Russouw for the Mail and Guardian. Neville Mompati, who “undefected” from Cope back to the ANC, said the absorption of the Independent Democrats into the DA means the majority of coloured votes in the province need somewhere to go – another Cope official thinks they will arrive at Cope’s door, enabling them to govern in half of the municipalities in the province. In 2009, however, the ID only hauled in 6.67% of the Northern Cape vote and 4.72% of the national vote in that province.
Read more: M&G
The Independent Electoral Commission will be appealing against the Electoral Court’s decision in favour of the IFP, which allows the party to register candidates after the deadline for doing so had elapsed. According to chief electoral officer Pansy Tlakula, the IFP took its list of candidates to the wrong place on the day of the deadline. It then tried to hire a helicopter to get it to the correct building on time, but it could not take off due to weather conditions. This would be a reasonable excuse to us if we leave out the fact that we knew municipal elections were coming… well, since the last ones really. The appeal will be heard in the Constitutional Court.
The IFP Youth Brigade chairman Mkhuleko Hlengwa will be campaigning door-to-door in Ushabane in Port Shepstone today and Vulumehlo tomorrow. On Wednesday, both Hlengwa and IFP leader Mangosuthu Buthelezi will attend a rally in Ugu where Buthelezi will be the keynote speaker.
The IFP accused the government on Friday of turning a (taxpayer-funded) government event into an ANC election rally. Said IFP Tshwane chairman Alvin Madela, “The ANC will, true to its nature, even steal from the taxpayer to advance its cause. Its actions speak to a blatant disregard for the basic principles of our democracy.” He called on the Public Protector to investigate.
In a statement on Friday, Kenneth Meshoe, leader of the African Christian Democratic Party, said Christians who kept silent in the face of xenophobia were guilty of a sin of omission. He said, “Christians should speak out whenever they hear negative sentiments expressed about foreigners in taxis, shops and in the street because this is how xenophobia begins”… confirming then that Muslims and atheists can beat on foreigners, but not people who vote for him.
IEC deputy chief electoral officer, Norman du PLessis, yesterday said the cost of staging elections in South Africa had gone down. The cost of the first free and fair elections in SA in 1994 cost R963 million and this year’s version is budgeted at R1.2 billion. Taking into account inflation, this was relatively low. Du Plessis put this down to fewer consultants, volunteers instead of officials and a decrease in technology costs.
Photo: Democratic Alliance (DA) supporters chant slogans during an election campaign in Soweto May 6, 2011. South Africans will vote in municipal elections on May 18, 2011. REUTERS/Siphiwe Sibeko.