Mamelodi burns over ANC candidates list

Mamelodi burns over ANC candidates list

Motorists in Mamelodi, east of Pretoria, drove over burning rubbish and tyres on Friday as African National Congress supporters went on the rampage, blocking major roads.

File photo: Gallo Images

“Our biggest challenge is that the national leadership of the ANC has the tendency of ignoring our protests. We did the same in 2011 when we were not satisfied with the manner in which our councillor was elected. Our concerns later confirmed to be true,” a community leader of Ward 23, Sindile Mothau told reporters.

“Our current councillor came in fraudulently. Five years down the line, we are seeing a repetition of the same. We know that Hendrick Diamond Mashaba won the processes of the ANC and he is supposed to be our candidate. At the last minute, we heard that the NLC (ANC’s national lists committee) has decided on a different candidate for us. They put Jack Mokhari to be our candidate. This whole community knows that Mashaba is our number one.”

He said the community had raised the matter with national ANC office bearers at Luthuli House on numerous occasions. On Friday, several senior officials of the ANC including chief whip Jackson Mthembu, head of election campaigns Nomvula Mokonyane and Tshwane regional chairperson Kgosientso Ramokgopa were campaigning in another section of Mamelodi.

“The community is trying to draw their attention so that they can come and address these problems. They should come and meet residents of Ward 23,” said Mo.

A truck carrying rubbish emptied its contents on the busy intersection of Tsamaya and Sibande Streets and other nearby intersections. Dark plumes of smoke filled the sky as tyres were set alight. Some shop owners nearby closed their premises.

Earlier, Mokonyane told African News Agency that the ANC would never lose Tshwane.

“Many South Africans living in Tshwane can confirm the good work we have done. People raise concerns over issues relating to jobs and delivery of services – not that they are not there – but the reliability and increasing the pace of the delivery,” said Mokonyane.

She said other voters raised concerns regarding over corruption.

At Pienaarspoort station in Mamelodi, Mokonyane and fellow senior ANC officials had to momentarily put their campaigning on ice and address complaints from any residents about the unreliability of trains in the area.

Many in the crowd waved their weekly and monthly train tickets at the politicians.

Some residents complained that crime was rampant in the area while some said there were no ablution facilities at the train station.

“Where are we supposed to relieve ourselves? On the rails? Prasa treats us as beggars,” an elderly woman lamented.

Nobuhle Mpansi, who works at a supermarket in Pretoria, added her voice to the chorus: “We cannot vote when we do not have jobs. Each day we gather at this station with our monthly tickets but we don’t see the trains. Prasa is stealing from us and there is no explanation.

“We risk our lives coming to this station everyday but we don’t get the trains. This has been happening for years. These Prasa people are thieves. I am going to lose my job if I don’t go to work today.”

Mokonyane and Ramokgopa were forced to deviate from their organised campaign programme for the August 3 municipal polls to discuss the rail system problems.

Holding a bunch of ANC campaign fliers, Mokonyane said she was “embarrassed” to be campaigning amid such unhappiness and placed the blame on Prasa senior manager, Tony Games, who was present.

“If you have problems with your trains, then why don’t you make alternative arrangements for these people? Buses should be transporting these people at your cost. Now people blame [Mayor] Ramokgopa for the trains.”

Mokonyane called on several officials including Transport Minister Dipuo Peters to tackle the problem of train delays urgently.

Some community members said they were now optimistic that the problems would be resolved.

Moments later a train pulled into the station. The commuters scurried for the train and the ANC door-to-door campaign programme started. - ANA

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