ANC moves to prevent election killings

A stable provincial leadership and the proper application of candidate selection criteria should prevent a repeat of the wave of killings that followed the ANC’s selection processes ahead of the 2016 local government elections.

The party’s provincial leaders also believe that the introduction of improved party dispute resolution structures will stop conflicts over places on the national and provincial lists from turning deadly.

READ MORE: Political killings in KZN continue

In KwaZulu-Natal, 12 ANC councillors or nominees were killed in the two months ahead of the August 2016 poll, with tensions over council seats exacerbated by the contested result of the November 2015 provincial conference.

The killings escalated after the elections. Premier Willies Mchunu then appointed the Moerane commission to probe the causes of the murders of councillors and senior municipal officials. The commission’s report is to be released in coming weeks.

In an interview this week after a two-day party election workshop, the ANC’s deputy chairperson in KwaZulu-Natal, Mike Mabuyakhulu, said, although the local government selection processes had sparked killings, “we have never seen anybody being killed” in general elections.


“We have never had a major challenge when it comes to general elections, particularly with the selection of candidates for the provincial and national lists,” said Mabuyakhulu.

He said this was partly as a result of the “completely different context” — the election of a “unity” provincial leadership under chairperson Sihle Zikalala, which had created a level of stability that had not existed in the run-up to 2016.

He said the focus was now on cementing that stability and unity at regional and branch level, while setting up the party election structures that would run the campaign for 2019 and the candidate selection process.

“We are honing the efficacy of our ANC processes. We have been learning from the mistakes of the past. We are trying to make the processes tighter in the sense that the criteria and precepts that the ANC has set down will be applied,” he said.

“If there is anyone who is left with a sense of unhappiness, they must be allowed to use ANC structures to air their grievances.”

Mabuyakhulu said the sitting leadership was “going to be very open- minded. We want to apply the rules and the criteria fairly.”

Mabuyakhulu said the recent arrests by the Hawks of suspects in a number of political murders in the province gave hope that progress was being made in bringing killers to justice. Successful prosecutions, he said, would also assist in ending the culture of impunity.

READ MORE: Mabuza faces tough questions on Mpumalanga political killings

The ANC would “factor in” the recommendations of the Moerane commission, which would affect the party and how it conducted its leadership selection processes.

He said the leadership was assessing the performances of provincial departments and municipalities to address issues of service delivery ahead of the elections. “We are particularly concerned about the number of service delivery protests and their violent nature. We want to play a proactive role in terms of intervening in communities as early as we can. We don’t believe there is any need for communities that are raising genuine issues to be violent, to destroy, to burn,” he said.

Subscribe to the M&G

These are unprecedented times, and the role of media to tell and record the story of South Africa as it develops is more important than ever.

The Mail & Guardian is a proud news publisher with roots stretching back 35 years, and we’ve survived right from day one thanks to the support of readers who value fiercely independent journalism that is beholden to no-one. To help us continue for another 35 future years with the same proud values, please consider taking out a subscription.

Paddy Harper
Paddy Harper
Storyteller.

Related stories

Sitting targets and lame ducks

Everybody’s staying pozi, which is making all the arrests easy for the Hawks. Only Ace is desperate to be seen

ANC’s rogue deployees revealed

Despite 6 300 ANC cadres working in government, the party’s integrity committee has done little to deal with its accused members

South Africa requires a different vision than the ANC’s

In response to Ryno Geldenhuys’s piece Under Mbali Ntuli the DA would offer South Africans a new political home, published in the Mail & Guardian on 13 October

Well-connected accountant coins it

Roshan Morar’s extensive links with government are deep and lucrative: a 300% ballooning tender; the nod for an ambassador’s post from ANC secretary general Ace Magashule; seats on the boards of a multitude of public entities and now a questionable PPE tender

Did Yster play ace in the hole?

Is the ANC secretary general a gambling man — or just stirring the pot over the ‘news’ of his arrest warrant

Cartoon: Carlos on The Stir’s reporting

Stir well, then let simmer until done.
Advertising

Subscribers only

SAA bailout raises more questions

As the government continues to grapple with the troubles facing the airline, it would do well to keep on eye on the impending Denel implosion

ANC’s rogue deployees revealed

Despite 6 300 ANC cadres working in government, the party’s integrity committee has done little to deal with its accused members

More top stories

It’s not a ‘second wave’: Covid resurges because safety measures...

A simple model shows how complacency in South Africa will cause the number of infections to go on an upward trend again

Unisa shortlists two candidates for the vice-chancellor job

The outgoing vice-chancellor’s term has been extended to April to allow for a smooth hand-over

How US foreign policy under Donald Trump has affected Africa

Lesotho has been used as a microcosm in this article to reflect how the foreign policy has affected Africa

Trouble brewing for Kenya’s coffee growers

Kenyan farmers say theft of their crop is endemic – and they suspect collusion
Advertising

press releases

Loading latest Press Releases…

The best local and international journalism

handpicked and in your inbox every weekday