ANC Mpumalanga chairman David Mabuza has reacted to Friday’s election results, blaming “the candidate election process that led to wrong people being selected”.

“The candidate selection was abused and we see it backfired because wrong people emerged,” Mabuza told journalists outside the ANC’s ‘Che’ Masilela headquarters on the corners of Brenda & Nel Streets in Mbombela.

“And these people were not those who were wanted by community members,” he said.

“Our system is being abused by our own comrades. That’s one thing we must find a way of improving”.

After casting his vote at the Lincoln farm in Barberton on Wednesday morning, Mabuza had told reporters that the ANC would win “100%” in all Mpumalanga municipalities.

“I’m expected to be above 80% in all of them,” he said then. However on Friday, with just over 98% of the votes tallied in the province the results stood at 70% of the vote for the party as compared to the 78% it received in the 2011 polls.

Mabuza also told an ANC Siyanqoba mini rally in Mbombela’s Pienaar township last week Sunday that he would donate four cows to be slaughtered “if we win over 90%”.

But on Friday he said the ANC in Mpumalanga cannot celebrate.

“We can not celebrate our victory when the rest of the country is not celebrating, they are a part of us. This is not a time for celebration but for reflection,” Mabuza told the 100+ supporters who had come to celebrate the party’s landslide victory in the province.

“You can see I’m bruised. The ANC is bruised,” reacted Mabuza to the sharp decline in major municipalities.

“After all is said and done, its not what I expected. Of course I’m happy with the results. [But] we must respond by improving. Improving on our work, improving on service delivery and improving in terms of the standing of the ANC. We want to make this ANC of theirs a better instrument for change,” he said.

When asked whether he believed 2016’s local government elections were the toughest, Mabuza answered “Yes”.

“They were the toughest. The ANC had been attacked quite lot. You’ll understand the leader of the ANC, the President [Jacob Zuma] has been attacked from day one, the Nkandla this side, the ANC that; the this, the that. The ANC has been carrying all those bruises. But after all we are still alive. We can look back and say ‘we’re still here, we still have an opportunity to re-assess ourselves.”

He said from now onwards his party will act “without fear or favour” to those who are not “equal to the task”.

“This time we are bit serious. We will hurt incompetent councilors and mayors because ourselves we are hurt. We are hurt here. We can’t afford to give these [municipal] positions to people who want to play.

“The ANC will now go back to its ‘drawing board’,  after we have realised that some people are not who we thought they are, that they were not the ones needed by the community.

Mabuza stated categorically that: “The party list didn’t guarantee anyone a municipal post. The ANC doesn’t owe anyone anything.”

“Before the elections we had a different view about our candidates but after the elections a lot of weaknesses have been revealed. So, we can see now, ‘oh, we were wrong about this man’”.

Earlier in the day the Nkangala region of the ANC released a statement announcing that an election victory party – to be addressed by regional chair, Speedy Mashilo – would be held at the Lynnville Stadium in eMalahleni but issued another statement three hours later saying that the party had be postponed.


(edited by MM)