Race to the polls

Ward 39 councillor is one of the few ANC incumbents in communities that fall in the Vukani distribution area who will be contesting the upcoming elections.

With local government elections less than a month away, political parties will be upping the ante to woo undecided voters and get support for their preferred candidates for the position of mayor, ward councillors and proportional representatives.

Leading to the polls on Wednesday August 3, various party hopefuls will be keeping their fingers crossed. With the registration of candidates done and dusted, and candidates for different wards having been announced by the Independent Electoral Commission of South Africa, last week, it is all systems go. While some of the incumbents will be running to retain their political hot seats as councillors, others will be seeking new ventures.

Over the next few weeks, Vukani will be talking to some of the ward councillor candidates in the wards which fall in our distribution area, with a focus on the ANC, DA, and the EFF – the three parties that received the most votes in the 2014 general elections.

The three parties also have candidates in all the wards that fall intoVukani’s distribution area.

As we launch this weekly feature, which will be published during the run-up to the election, we provide an overview of councillors who will be looking to retain their positions, long serving councillors who are not on the list and those who will be returning after being out in the wild or who did not make the cut during the previous local government elections in 2011.

While the EFF will be contesting local government elections for the first time, and the DA will be contesting every ward in the country for the first time, the ANC will be bringing some new and old faces to contest the polls.

High on the ANC’s list of interesting and returning individuals is Andile Lili, the party’s former Youth League member.

He will be in the running for the position of councillor of Ward 95, which includes Enkanini, Kuyasa and Monwabisi. He replaced Mpucuko Nguzo as the party’s preferred candidate. The controversial Ses’khona People’s Rights Movement co-founder will be up against Mongezi Conjwa, of the DA, and Masibulele Zitha of the EFF.

Mr Lili makes a grand return to politics after his fall from grace in 2011, following his expulsion from the City council. He was found guilty after a disciplinary hearing, of having made derogatory remarks to a woman whom he allegedly ordered to “give birth in a drain or bush”. He was also allegedly involved in the illegal demolition of homes in Khayelitsha.

Since then, he and his sidekick, Loyiso Nkohla, have been the voices of Ses’khona, and in 2013 they led a group that dumped human excrement at the Western Cape provincial legislature and at the Cape Town International Airport, in protest against poor sanitation in Khayelitsha and other informal settlements.

In 2014, Mr Lili was given a suspended three-year sentence by the ANC for his role in the so-called poo protest. However, last year he was voted into the party’s provincial executive committee.

Two years ago, he survived an attack when gunmen fired several shots at him while sitting in a car in his yard. He spent some time recovering in hospital.

Last month saw the end of his alliance with Loyiso Nkohla, who shockingly jumped into bed with the DA.

The other notable ANC inclusions include Templeton Mgxekeni who returns to contest the election in Ward 37, which covers Nyanga. He replaced Mzimasi Mangali, who took over from David Tshambule in 2011. He is returning to contest a position he held from 2001 until 2006 and will be up against the DA’s Ntombi Hlaphezulu and the EFF’s Ntombizanele Tshaka. At 61 years old, it will be interesting to see whether he has the same zeal he possessed some 10 years ago.

Patrick Mngxunyeni, Danile Khatshwa, Anele Gabuza, will be contesting the elections in wards 94, 96 and 98, respectively.

Mr Mngxunyeni will be competing with Shirley Aba of the DA and Mandla Ndabazandile of the EFF, while Mr Khatshwa will square up against Siqhamo Batala of the DA and Nontuthuzelo Booi of the EFF.

Mr Gabuza will be competing against the EFF’s Yoliswa Nakani and the DA’s Nomnikelo Ntshiba. Current Ward 18 councillor Ntomboxolo Kopman and her Ward 34 counterpart Fikiswa Nkunzana have also been retained by the ANC. Ms Kopman will battle it out against Phelisa Mzolisa of the DA and Mbulelo Dwane of the EFF, while Ms Nkunzana will do battle with Nowethu Mdleleni of the EFF and the DA’s Noluphiwo Kama.

The long-serving Ward 36 councillor Depoutch Elese has been replaced by Nokuthula Bolitye as the ANC candidate for the ward. Mr Elese is one of the longest serving councillors in the City of Cape Town. He has been the councillor since the first local government elections in 1996.

During his 20-year-reign, he has not shied away from controversy, having often been accused of being a dictator.

Numerous attempts to remove him as a councillor have been futile. In 2011, disgruntled Crossroads residents marched to the Gugulethu municipal offices to demand his sacking. In 2013, he was accused of pointing a firearm at Vuyiswa Ngqotywa during a housing meeting. The council found him guilty of contravening the councillor’s code of conduct. However, he managed to keep his position. His ward will be contested by Sabelo Sonamzi of the EFF, Mlungisi Noludwe of the DA and Ms Bolitye.

Ward 38 councillor Luvuyo Zondani and Khaya Yozi of Ward 39, have also been retained. Mr Yozi will be challenged by Siyathemba Ndlezana, of the DA, and Daluxolo Chophiso of the EFF. Mzwanele Bhesi of the EFF and Welekazi Tywaku of the DA will be hoping to wrestle Ward 38 from Mr Zondani.