DA sets its sights on another Mpumalanga town

2012-11-07 12:31
Sizwe sama Yende
The DA in Mpumalanga hopes to wrest control of another tourist town from the ANC tonight.

A by-election for ward 1 in Mbombela municipality, which encompasses Hazyview and the rural Shabalala village, began this morning. The Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) is expected to release the results by midnight.

This by-election comes 11 months after the DA snatched Graskop in Thaba Chweu municipality from the ANC. The ANC had been in control of Graskop since 1994.

The DA got 18% of the votes in ward 1 during the last local government elections.

Provincial DA leader Anthony Benadie has accused the ANC of using Mbombela municipality’s resources to garner support for the by-election.

This was after Mbombela executive mayor Cathy Dlamini decided to host an imbizo in Hazyview over the weekend.

Benadie said the DA caught the ANC “red-handed” misusing the council’s property to distribute food parcels.

Benadie said: “During out door-to-door campaign in Hazyview’s Vakansiedorp (on Sunday), DA Councillor Ken Robertson and I were confronted with the sight of a municipal fire truck and a truck loaded with supplies parked outside the venue where (Dlamini) and her mayoral committee were conducting an imbizo.

“On closer inspection and phone calls to sources in the municipality, it was established the truck was indeed loaded with food parcels for later distribution, and that the fire truck would be used to flaunt the ANC’s might and influence.”

The ANC secretary in Ehlanzeni region, Pat Ngomane, denied that the Mbombela municipality had misused public resources to drum up support for the ANC.

“There’s nothing Mbombela did for us as the ANC. We did our work, and we’re confident that we will retain this ward,” Ngomane said.

The ANC’s ward councillor resigned due to ill-health, hence the by-election.

Mbombela spokesperson Joseph Ngala was unavailable to comment. His cellphone rang unanswered today and he did not return messages.