/ 20 June 2016

Thoko Didiza confirmed as ANC’s Tshwane mayoral candidate

Jessie Duarte said Didiza
Jessie Duarte said Didiza

The ANC has confirmed Thoko Didiza as the party’s mayoral candidate for the City of Tshwane. 

ANC deputy secretary general Jessie Duarte told journalists at Luthuli House on Monday that the decision to select Didiza was unanimously accepted by both the ANC’s provincial and regional structures.

The former public works minister was nominated as Tshwane’s mayoral candidate after the ANC’s special national executive committee, held on Saturday in Irene, rejected the three names initially submitted by Tshwane leaders. ANC secretary general Gwede Mantashe said at the weekend the names submitted were not “good enough” for the mayoral position, with Tshwane deputy ANC chairperson Mapiti Matsena leading the list.

The ANC national executive committee held a meeting with Tshwane leaders on Sunday, where violence erupted, resulting in an ANC member being shot and killed and others sustaining injuries. Duarte said that the party strongly condemned the violence and that those responsible for the attack would be dealt with decisively. 

For the first time since 1994, the ANC will face serious competition from the Democratic Alliance and the Economic Freedom Fighters, both of whom have vowed to give the ANC a run for its money during the upcoming elections on August 3.

Duarte said Didiza, who is also an ANC national executive committee member, was chosen because of her track record as a former Cabinet minister and active party member in the Tshwane region. She also emphasised that the party rejected the names from the Tshwane leaders because “in putting together the three names, the process created factions and further divided the leadership in Tshwane”.

Outgoing Tshwane mayor Sputla Ramakgopa said ANC regional leaders had put their differences aside and would unconditionally support Didiza. He added that he would remain ANC regional chairperson in Tshwane and would stay on as a councillor after the local elections.