A group of African National Congress members in Ward 35, Nyanga, have threatened to join the Democratic Alliance if the new ANC candidate for the ward is not removed.
The ward is up for a by-election on February 19 after ANC councillor Thobile Gqola was fired as councillor following his being found guilty of contravening the councillor’s code of conduct by using his position for personal benefit by fraudulently selling RDP houses for R7 000.
His expulsion came after the DA filed a complaint with City of Cape Town speaker Dirk Smith, which resulted in an internal investigation into Gqola’s activities.
The criminal case of corruption against Gqola is ongoing from 2012.
But ANC members at the Thabo Mbeki branch say the ANC’s replacement, Zuzile Mpondwane, was also involved in the scheme with Gqola.
They allege Mpondwana was also involved in selling houses in Phillipi East Phases three and four housing projects before continue with phase five.
Mpondwana was announced as the new candidate following a meeting in the Phillipi East community hall on Wednesday.
The meeting ended in chaos following the announcement, with about 30 of the less than 60 people left at the meeting marching out of the hall singing “we asked for a councillor, now you giving us shit”.
Members vowed not to vote unless Mpondwana was removed and Andile Cakwebe put up as the candidate.
ANC member Asanda Njokwebe said she was kicked out of the meeting after she said she was not going to vote for Mpondwana.
“They came here to tell us that Mpondwana is our councillor (even), after we launched a number of complaints against him. They said they have powers to elect the leader, let’s see if those powers are going to make them to win this ward.”
Another resident who identify himself only as Vumsumzi, said the ANC knew from the beginning that members were not happy with Mpondwana.
“These people are using the ANC name to do corruption, we’re tired of being told to vote for ANC even if we are not happy with the candidate,” he said.
Some of the members said they going to join DA if Mpondwana was not removed as candidate.
Noxolo Mtengwane was among the residents who said they would sooner vote for the DA than for Mpondwana.
She said it was time the ANC took the wishes of its members seriously.
Mtengwane said she was one of the people who went through all the necessary processes to receive a RDP house.
“I was approved but I never received a key because of Mpondwana. He was involved on phase three and most of the houses there were sold. When we report the matter to the ANC, instead of investigating they asked us to produce slips of the sales. Tell me where can we get receipts if those houses were sold illegally?
“I rather vote for the DA than to vote for a corrupt man and give him power to corrupt us more,” said Mtengwana.
Howenver, the ANC’s Dullah Omar regional secretary JJ Tyhalisisu said Mpondwana was put forward following a process.
He said the problem was a result of infighting in Sanco, not as a result of the ANC’s actions.
“Most of the areas are divided, they have two Sanco’s. Mpondwana happened to lead in one of the Sanco’s while Cakwebe is a leader in another SANCO. These issues are from Sanco,” said Tyhalisisu.
He said Mpondwana got 67 votes while Cakwebe only got 21 votes.
“We took Mpondwana’s name to the provincial leaders and they didn’t see anything wrong, it came as a surprise when some of the members said they do not want him and marched out of the meeting,” he said.
He said the residents who opposed Mpondwana had been identified and a meeting would be held before the by-election to address their issues. — Nombulelo Damba