ANC members and supporters in Buffalo City pleaded with former president Kgalema Motlanthe to remove corrupt ward councillors and approach the national office to disband their party’s regional and provincial leadership.
Motlanthe and other ANC leaders were in East London this week to review legislation passed by the government. The meeting took place at the East London Christian Centre. Hundreds of people participated.
The public was invited to talk about their experience of new laws passed since 1994. Discussions were supposed to be focused on poverty, unemployment, inequality, equitable distribution of wealth, land reform and rural development, social cohesion and nation building.
Instead, members raised questions about their ward councillors, accusing them of failing to deliver basic services. They cited corrupt councillors who sell RDP houses but are protected by the party.
Every person in the audience who was given the microphone complained about ward councillors, and how the ANC provincial and regional leadership were protecting them.
Mpumelelo Feni from Tyutyu Village in King William’s Town asked Motlanthe how they are going to build the nation when they are led by corrupt people. “The whole list … is full of corrupt ward councillors. If you are not a thief the ANC will never protect you. We were forced to vote for ward councillors not because they are hard workers but the leadership had plans to benefit them. What about us voters? Instead of enjoying the democracy we are still fighting for a solution,” he said.
Nomfuneko Botomani from Gqobhasi in East London said the ANC is using them for business. “Maybe you are also here to push your own agenda. I have been on a waiting list since 1998. I was approved in 2001 then suddenly I was told that my application was withdrawn, something I know nothing about. Ward councillors do not care about us. They only care to feed themselves. We are still victims. Nothing has changed,” she said.
Another community member who identified himself as Phuthumani said that in his ward RDP houses were built but instead of being given to needy people they were given to government officials and politicians. “If you do not have R10,000 to buy a house then you will never receive it in Buffalo City Metro. They only care for themselves and they must be removed,” he said.
Some threatened “hell” if the ANC does not disband the provincial and regional leaders, while others threatened to move to other political parties.
Motlanthe promised to attend to all the issues raised. He asked those who did not have a chance to speak to write their grievances down.