At least 30 ANC members from Philippi East’s Ward 35, which is up for a by-election this month, say they have joined the DA as they allege the ward candidate the ANC provincial leadership has foisted on them is corrupt.
A by-election in the ward is set for February 19 following ANC councillor Thobile Gqola being fired following his being found guilty by the City of Cape Town of 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 Smit, which resulted in an internal investigation into Gqola’s activities.
On Tuesday DA MP Masizole Mnqasela announced the DA’s candidate, Xolile Gwanxu, at a public meeting held in Phillipi East Community Hall.
The meeting was also attended by Economic Freedom Fighters members in support of Gwanxu.
Resident Nofumana Time, 54, said she’s voted for the ANC since 1994 but she’s now had enough.
“The ANC continue to ignore us. I live in a small house with my children, we don’t know what happened to an RDP house we applied for,” she said.
She said whenever there’s job in the area it’s is given to the same politically connected people.
Time was one of the members who were not happy with Zuzile Mpondwaba being the ward candidate.
Mpondwaba’s candititure was announced at an ANC meeting in the Phillipi East Community Hall last week. The meeting ended in chaos as scores of members walked out accusing Mpondwana of being in cahoots with Gqola and selling houses in Philippi East phase one and two housing projects.
They left the meeting singing songs such as: “We asked for a ward councillor now you’re giving us shit.”
Members made it very clear they do not support Mpondwana and demanded Andile Cakwebe be the elected candidate.
Although a number of residents spoke only on condition of anonymity as they were scared of being targeted for leaving the ANC, they made it clear their only other voting option was the DA.
“Most of the people are not happy with Mpondwana, he was involved in selling houses. “Mpondwana and Gqola are close friends, even though Gqola was found guilty of selling houses by the city there are ANC members in this area who still support him,” alleged one resident.
Gwanxu assure residents that would run a transparent office if he was voted in.
He said he was happy that some of the people had finally saw the light and joined the political party that is going to work for them.
“All I’m asking for is your vote then I will work for you. I will make sure that those who are involved in selling of RDP houses leave this area, including Mpondwana because we all know he owns at least two RDP houses here,” said Gwanxu.
The ANC said they were not aware of any members joining the DA.
Dullah Omar regional secretary JJ Tyhalisisu said he had received no reports of people leaving the party.
“Last time I checked everything was fine in that ward, we had a meeting with our members, specifically those who had a problem with Mpondwana being made a candidate, and they assured to work for the ANC.
“This is new, I will call someone from ward 35 and find out what is going on,” he said.
Meanwhile, Gqola’s criminal case in which he is charged with corruption has been ongoing since 2012. – Nombulelo Damba