President Jacob Zuma is not the cause of decline of ANC votes in recent local government elections and those who were charging that he was the cause of decline are just being unfair towards him and making reckless statements.
That’s the view of Mpumalanga ANC chairman David Mabuza who was speaking to journalists during the weekend.
Mabuza first addressed the provincial executive committee lekgotla on Saturday morning and called for introspection on recent ANC local government election performance.
During his address, Mabuza said declines indicated challenges faced by the party. “This is a clear indication that a vast majority of our voters stayed away from the polling stations for various reasons,” he said.
“I dont agree with these voices that are saying the ANC has received this poor showing, the ANC has declined, gone down because of its president. Those who don’t understand the ANC will say that and those that are malicious will say that.
“But were was the president when branches of the ANC were faltering with the process? Where was the president when leaders of the ANC at and REC level were imposing candidate? Its wrong,” he told the lekgotla.
But during the hour he spent answering questions from journalists at
the Casa do Sol Hotel in Hazyview after delivering his political overview, the chairman of the party in Mpumalanga said he was pained to see ANC
veterans “stabbing the ANC from behind”.
“It’s painful to hear a leader that I admired, a leader that I followed at a particular time, stabbing the ANC from behind,” Mabuza told journalists politely.
“Very painful. They have got all the rights to come and say ‘you have not done things the right way’, I’ll accept that,” he said.
“But to be grandstanding and trying to be prove that you are better off is not going to entice us, it will not make us feel good. You can only play for the gallery and don’t think those people that are laughing they love you as you talk, they don’t. They see you as a lost somebody,” Mabuza said.
In recent time, Zuma has had ANC stalwarts, including Rivonia trialist Ahmed Kathrada, calling for his stepping down as both the President of the country and ANC.
Mabuza said all ANC members knew the problems faced by and didn’t understand why these icons were making “reckless statements”.
ANC President Jacob Zuma. PICTURE BY MfisoDIGITAL
“But of course some of these perceptions have been created that the ANC has declined because of Jacob Zuma and we feel it’s unfair because we are all participants and we know the problems,” he said.
“The ANC encompasses all that is good. It’s only a leader at a particular time, so I’ll be happy if you confront me and say, ‘you must step down, you are not leading this ANC of ours in the right direction’. That’s a right approach. Not grandstanding and especially those of our leaders who were once part of the leadership of the movement, some of their statement are very reckless. Some of us we have learnt from them. We have followed them as leaders and we feel they are just impatient, getting reckless and I don’t know why. I still expect them to do constructive criticism and work for the ANC because the ANC has made them what they are today. But they’ve forgotten that,” said Mabuza, who is also the Premier of Mpumalanga.
On the Occupy Luthuli House group, Mabuza said the group was just lost, saying that marching to Luthuli House is “marching to yourself”.
He added those who wanted Zuma to leave office before his term expires didn’t understand that when Zuma leaves “our problems remain’.
“So, we are not going to mess ourselves up because we want to satisfy a certain section, no. Let’s deal with our problems entirely and we have realised that there is a need for unity and even those comrades must refrain from doing such things, they belong to the ANC. They are our comrades. If they have got issues to raise they know how best to raise them and no one is disagreeing that we might have, as the leadership of the ANC at all levels in this current period, betrayed our people, we have not work very well.
“I think we have not attended problems on time and these problems played themselves out in the open and they resulted into some of our people becoming unhappy with the ANC. But these short-comings cannot be ascribed to one leader, a problem in Gauteng belongs to Paul Mashatile. There’s a provincial executive committee there. Paul must account on the loss of Tshwane and Johannesburg. The problems of Mpumalanga belongs to me. I must account on the decline of our votes in Steve Tshwete and Govan Mbeki municipalities and I can’t say Secretary General Gwede Mantashe must come and account on these because this is my province, so it’s unfair to ascribe or to try and attribute all our problems to one person and these comrades they know very well”.
Addressing the province’s first provincial executive committee lekgotla to be held post elections Mabuza did not mince his word saying the ANC needed to fix its problems and unite in order to regain the confidence of the people.
“I have promised our people that this situation will change,” he said
The ANC in Mpumalanga has announced the names of the three mayors to head up the three district municipal councils in the province at a press briefing held at its Mbombela headquarters on Tuesday.
The party also announced the names of mayors of the 17 municipal councils of the province.
In a statement delivered by provincial secretary, Mandla Ndlovu, flanked by deputy chairwoman, Violet Siwela, and provincial spokesman, Thulare Madileng, the ANC reiteratedits intention to deploy strong leaders to head up the municipalities in an effort to strengthen the capacity of local government institutions.
The redeployment of certain leaders from the provincial legislature gives an indication that the ANC may reshuffle its provincial cabinet, citing reasons of capacity and efficiency. We want strong and tested leaders to lead municipalities.
Turning once more to the members and supporters of the ANC, the party expressed its profound gratitude to all those who supported and voted for it in the province and was at pains to emphasise the seriousness and bearing, on it as an organisation, the results of the elections.
Therefore the party will now reflect on the journey travelled as well to introspect on the challenges and issues raised by many of our members and voters, the statement read.
During this announcement the MEC for Public Works, Roads and Transport Dumisile Nhlengethwa was announced asthe new speaker of Msukaligwa, replacing Bheki Vilakazi.
Solomon Nkosi takes over from Sipho Bongwe as the new mayor of Msukaligwa while the ANC chairman in the Gert Sibande region, Muzi Chirwa, is the new mayor of Gert Sibande District Municipality, taking over from Mishack Nhlabathi.
In the Nkangala District, erstwhile eMalahleni Mayor, Linah Malatjie takes the helm at the district council with former provincial secretary, Lucky Ndinisa as speaker of the council. Mike Masina will retain his post as Steve Tshwete mayor while Lindiwe Ntshalintshali is set to continue on as eMalahleni mayor.
MEC for Social Development, Nomsa Mtshweni is now the mayor of Thembisile Hani and former Youth League leader, Gijimani Skhosana, takes over from Rhoda Mathabe as mayor of Dr J.S Moroka.
In keeping with the theme of women empowerment, Jesta Sydel takes over the reigns as mayor at Hlanzeni District Municipality, Sibusiso Mathonsistays on as the mayor of the newly-merged Mbombela municipality and former chief whip of the Bushbuckridge municipality and Mpumalanga head of elections, Sylvia Nxumalo is now the mayor of the municipality.
The following are the names of the announced mayors for all the municipalities in Mpumalanga:
Ehlanzeni District Municipality – Jesta Sydel
Bushbuckridge Local Municipality Sylvia Nxumalo
Thaba Chewu Local Municipality Selinah Mashego
Nkomazi Local Municipality Thulisile Khoza
Mbombela Local Municipality Sibusiso Mathonsi
Nkangala District Municipality Linah Malatjie
Victor Khanye Local Municipality Eva Makhabane
eMalahleni Local Municipality Lindiwe Ntshalintshali
Steve Tshwete Local Municipality Mike Masina
Emakhazeni Local Municipality Thomas Ngwenya
Thembisile Hani Local Municipality Nomsa Mtshweni,
Dr J.S Moroka Local Municipality Gijimani Jimmy Skosana
Gert Sibande Muzi Chirwa
Chief Albert Luthuli Local Municipality Dan Nkosi
Dipaliseng Local Municipality Mafunda Makhubu
Pixley Ka Isaka Seme Local Municipality Vincent Malatsi
ANC Mpumalanga chairman David Mabuza has reacted to Fridays 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 ANCsChe’ Masilela headquarterson the corners of Brenda & Nel Streets inMbombela.
And these people were not those who were wanted by community members, he said.
Our system is being abused by our own comrades. Thats one thing we must find a way of improving.
After casting his vote at the Lincoln farm in Barbertonon Wednesdaymorning, Mabuza had told reporters that the ANC would win 100% in all Mpumalanga municipalities.
Im 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 Mbombelas Pienaar townshiplast weekSundaythat 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 tocelebrate the partys landslide victoryin the province.
You can see Im 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 Im 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 2016s local government elections were the toughest, Mabuza answered Yes.
They were the toughest. The ANC had been attacked quite lot. Youll 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 cant 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 didnt 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.
Two NGOs are heading to the Tshwane High Court to force government to respect the constitutional rights of people with regard to the air pollution being caused by Mpumalanga’s Sasol and Eskom power plants.