Malema’s ‘hood gears up for by-election

2012-09-16 09:53
Sipho Masondo
Voters – and the police – are expected to be out in force when Julius Malema’s neighbourhood goes to the polls for a by-election on Wednesday.

The election in Seshego Zone 1 will pit the ANC’s Samuel Matseo, the DA’s David Kwenaite and independent candidate George Tembo against each other.

The winner will become the councillor for Seshego’s ward 13, which was left vacant by the death of Alinah Malemati in April.

Tembo (36), a former member of the ANC, said he decided to stand against his old party because he was unfairly expelled from the Mailo Malatjie branch – Malema’s branch, which incorporates ward 13.

Tembo slammed branch chairperson Jossie Buthane, a close Malema ally.

He, Malema and Jacob Lebogo, the ANC Youth League’s secretary in Limpopo, come from the same street in Seshego.

Tembo said: “I’m standing as an independent candidate because we have so many problems in our branch.

“The community chose me to stand as an independent ... they are tired of Buthane, Lebogo and Malema.”

But Buthane rubbished Tembo’s suggestion that he and Lebogo chose Matseo to run.

“The candidate of ward 13 was never imposed by anybody. Four names were elected and taken to the general membership of the party, which decided he should be the candidate,” Buthane said.

Nkaro Mateta, the chief executive of the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) in Limpopo, said more than
6 000 people were registered to vote in the by-election.

“Initially, there was a problem with the defacing of the DA’s posters. The matter was reported to the police
and two people, who don’t even live in ward 13, were arrested,” Mateta said.

The IEC was not expecting any major problems, Mateta said. “But the police will be on high alert on the day as previously we experienced problems there.”

The DA’s spokesperson in the province, Langa Bodlani, said: “We have done all the groundwork and we are hoping that the people of Seshego will vote for us, as we are the only alternative to the ANC’s madness.”