Tlokwe mayor defends ANC against allegations of vote snatching
Mon, 30 May 2016 13:51:00
Tlokwe executive mayor in Potchefstroom, North West, Khotso Khumalo, has defended the African National Congress (ANC) from allegations that it is colluding with the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) to steal votes.
The by-elections in the municipality were halted by the High Court, following an application by the independent candidates.
As a result, seven wards in Tlokwe municipality do not have councillors, as the IEC awaits the ruling of the Constitutional Court on its appeal against the ruling of the Pretoria High Court. Khumalo presented the State of the City in Promosa, outside Potchefstroom.
A budget of over R1.3 billion was presented at a packed hall in Promosa. Khumalo used the opportunity to dispel allegations that the ANC has been stealing votes, saying the ruling was against the IEC.
Independent candidates in Tlokwe took the matter to the Constitutional Court, arguing that there must be addresses for all the registered voters in the voter’s roll.
The court ruled in their favour. However, the IEC has since appealed something which caused the postponement of the by-elections.
Khumalo says the ANC had no hand in the matter.
“To a reasonable person, it should be self-evident that the judgment had nothing to with the ruling party, but with the IEC. Whatever irregularities, non-compliance, prior to, or during the by-elections, it is ascribed to the IEC only. No finding was ever made to the effect that the ruling party was in any manner involved in the irregularities that formed basis of the court’s ruling.”
Tlokwe mayor Khumalo says they have also managed to reduce the number of people living in informal settlements, as they continue to provide people living in those areas with houses
However, Khumalo says it is commendable that despite the debacle surrounding the by-elections, the community of Tlokwe have been receiving services without any disruptions. He also says much has been done to ensure a smooth process in terms of merging the Tlokwe and Ventersdorp municipalities.
“A considerable amount of work towards the merger has already been done, and I can therefore report the following wards of the new municipality have been re-determined. And August 3, 2016 elections will be held according to new boundaries. After the elections, we will have a new amalgamated municipality, comprising of 34 ward councillors, 34 proportional representative councillors. The madam speaker, corporate identity, location of headquarters, is still being determined and there will be thorough with both the communities before it is implemented,” he says.
But it seems the merger still leaves a bitter taste in the mouths of the opposition. They believe the ANC is using this so that it can win Tlokwe.
Democratic Alliance (DA) councillor Chris Langsberg says government will incur huge costs if the merger continues.
Langsberg says, “The only reason I think the mayor and the ANC locally, have decided to postpone the integration of the two systems, is the fact that they know what the system will be. That you cannot publish before the elections, because the communities are furious as far as the amalgamation is concerned.”
Congress of the People (COPE) councillor Kenneth Maduna shares the same sentiments with Langsberg .
“The liability of the creditors of Ventersdorp will rest on our shoulders of Tlokwe. The mayor failed to mention that the processes were not followed, in the process of merging these two municipalities.”
Tlokwe mayor Khumalo says they have also managed to reduce the number of people living in informal settlements, as they continue to provide people living in those areas with houses, in a bid to formalise the areas.
– By Itumeleng Kgajane