Dead though their candidates may be, the ANC still campaigned for people to vote for the party’s representatives in KwaZulu-Natal.
Since the beginning of the year more than 20 people have been killed in politically motivated murders. But the ANC has borne the brunt of losing candidate councillors, particularly in the province.
The five ward candidates who were murdered in June and July still appeared on the ballot.
Mdumiseni Ntuli, the party’s provincial spokesperson, said people should still go to the polls and elect an ANC government.
“The deceased comrades were campaigning for the party in these wards and we are campaigning that the communities still vote for the candidates,” he said.
“They are on the ballot and their faces are still on posters. They should be voted for even though they are gone.”
Ntuli said that the party was “left cold” after the brutal murder of Bongani Skhosana.
There was no other candidate that the ward wanted or had nominated. “He was trusted and loved by his community and they will vote for him today [Wednesday],” said Ntuli.
Skhosana appears on the ballot for the uMuziwabantu Local Municipality on the South Coast of KwaZulu-Natal.
He was shot at his home near Harding, while trying to start his car to take his children to school, according to the special task team set up in June by the minister of police, David Mahlobo. Skhosana had two gunshot wounds to the head.
His assassination came two weeks after a Newcastle ward candidate was killed on 2 July. Thembi Mbongo was 35 and was a candidate for Ward 6 in Newcastle. Her comrades believe she will still win her ward.
The ANC’s regional secretary, Ntokozo Mhlungu, said the party would retain the ward and there was no competition even though Mbongo was dead.
“I was in the area this morning and the community is positive that they will vote for her, especially in memory of the manner in which she was killed.”
Two men gunned down Mbongo in her home as she sat with her husband and children.
Khanyisile Ngobese-Sibisi, who was shot while on her way to a Mandela Day event in Ladysmith to deliver blankets in the Alfred Duma municipality, is also still a contender.
Her face appears as a candidate for ward 20 in the municipality.
Phetheni Ngubane, an ANC member in Pietermaritzburg, was ambushed on her way from a branch election meeting in Imbali on 8 June.
She was a candidate in the uMngeni municipality. Prior to her murder her area had experienced numerous protests over the nomination process, with ANC members marching for provincial leaders to intervene.
After Wednesday the ANC will work closely with IEC to ensure smooth by-elections in the five areas that have been affected.
Ntuli is adamant that the governing party will retain all these wards.