EFF and ANC wrestle for Amersfoort ward

EFF and ANC wrestle for Amersfoort ward
TUG-OF-WAR: The EFF and ANC are getting ready to wrestle it out over by-elections in Amersfoort. PICTURE BY The South African

The ward was declared vacant by the IEC last month.

The EFF and ANC will come head to head when both contest by-elections brought about by the arrest of an ANC councillor accused of selling RDP houses.

The by-elections will be held on 19 May 2021, with the EFF’s Thulani Manana and the ANC’s Tshepo Thwala being the frontrunners in the battle to rule ward 7 of the Pixley ka Seme local municipality.

The ward was declared vacant by the IEC last month after the ANC sacked its councillor Obed Shabangu who is in court accused of selling RDP houses.

Shabangu was arrested by the cops two days after he celebrated Reconciliation Day in 2018 and was released on R50 000 bail by the Amersfoort Magistrates Court.

He then got re-arrested on 25 July 2019 after he broke his bail conditions, languishing in jail until December 2020 when again the court released him on another R50 000 bail.

EFF and ANC wrestle for Amersfoort ward
Former ANC councilor Obed Shabangu who was also chief whip of the ANC in council

In January this year the ANC took the decision to “relieve” Shabangu from his post as ward 7 councillor, this after he had been getting his full salary while sitting in jail.

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Shabangu is charged with corruption – accused of selling RDP houses in the Amersfoort area, including one dramatic incident in 2018 that spilled the beans in which he allegedly went to a man’s home to forcefully take his furniture for allegedly not paying him the money of the RDP he had sold to the man.

When the man laid a charge against the taking of his furniture, the EFF discovered the story and found that there were actually more people who allegedly paid money to Shabangu to get RDP homes, against an official list of beneficiaries.

The cops swooped and arrested Shabangu on 18 December 2018.

The ANC and EFF said they are confident as they head towards the Amersfoort by-elections as they’ve had enough time to convince voters ahead of next week’s local poll.

The EFF said they are pinning their hopes on the alleged corruption of the former councillor and how people are fed up in the ward with corruption which has robbed many poor people of government services.

Shabangu returns to court on 8 July 2021 for trial preparations.

(edited by MLM)
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