By Masilo Malakwane
QWAQWA- Current councillor of Maluti-A-Phofung Mary Crockett who is accused of manipulating process during the nominations of candidates for ward 28, is among many candidates that the ANC’s Provincial Interim Committee in the Free State intends to correct.
The ANC’S Provincial Interim Committee in Free State stated that the dispute arrived late since it was lodged after the candidates list was submitted to the IEC offices.
This follows the protests by community and disgruntled candidates, who were dissatisfied with the way incumbent Mary Crockett has been re-elected as a suitable councillor candidate in this year’s much anticipated local government elections that is set to take place between October 27 and November 1, after constitutional court dismissed application by IEC to postpone polls to February 2022.
Ward 28 comprises of areas like Beruit, Mabolela and Elite. Disgruntled members of the ruling party claim that Crockett allegedly convened a public meeting on August 19, whereby she promised that elderly people would receive food parcels and youth would be given learner ships.
Raphadi Maduna, one of the Councillor candidates has also accused Crockett of using the poor marginalized and vulnerable community of Mabolela, Ntshehele and others to plot for her re-election candidacy unopposed.
“We were surprised and appalled by Pastor’s desperation. All we heard from WhatsApp group was that Pastor invited first citizens and unemployed youth reason being that they will receive food parcels and learnerships. To our surprise we heard that candidates’ election was convened on that meeting without other candidates’ presence,” said Maduna.
He further added that the elections meeting was supposed to be conducted on Sunday in presence of all the community members.
The Councillor candidates’ seat was being contested by four candidates as per tradition, and that includes Moeketsi Twala, Raphadi Maduna, Mahlasinyana John Lephakga and Marry Crockett.
In the documents that was submitted to the ANC Regional Committee of Thabo Mofutsanayana, it appears that Mary Crockett has won the elections by 625 votes while her rival Mahlasinyana John Lephakga has zero votes and other two were set to be unavailable.
However, another candidate Moeketsi Twala confirmed that they had lodged a dispute with the ANC Regional leadership regarding what they described as shameful and fraudulent selection of the candidate for their ward.
They described it as shameful and unlawful, “our stance is to postpone the whole process till when every community member is available, but the unfortunate part was that Pastor Mary submitted the forms at the regional office and declared that the community wants her again on the polls,” he said.
The Guard’s attempts to get Marry Crockett’s side of the story were in vain as she indicated that she is not an ANC spokesperson and refer all our questions to the organization.
Meanwhile, ANC Provincial Interim Committee spokesperson, Oupa Khoabane said the party is aware of the dispute of Ward 28 in Maluti a Phofung “We did receive their letter of complaint about the candidates list, but it was after the submission of the candidates list to the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC)” Khoabane said.
Commenting on the current situation in the ANC, an independent political analyst and law expert Mmutlanyana Sekete says ANC has been in turmoil for the past number of years.
“The floating of candidate selection process is not something strange in the ANC.Patronage has become something like culture and tradition, especially under the previous leadership. Laws and rules were bypassed by those who wanted to cling to power forever. Services to the people was not what guided their conscience. Longevity in office had to be sustained.
“We will wait and see how the PIC will handle this situation. Especially as the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) will open registration. The people of Mabolela and entire ward may just hope that this committee will attend to their concern. Unfortunately, the ANC is an organization in great distress.”