The 16 expelled African National Congress (ANC) councillors from Maluti-A-Phofung municipality in Qwaqwa have officially started with their campaigning.

The councillors have been at loggerheads with the Free State Provincial Executive Committee of the ANC,  after they were expelled from the council for failure to follow the instructions of the party.

The councillors are alleged to have voted with the opposition parties in a motion of no confidence to remove Mayor Vusi Tshabalala in June 2018.

Spokesperson for the dismissed councillors, Paratlane Motloung, says the meeting was a symbolic gesture as they had officially resigned from the ANC.

Motloung says councillors are ready to contest the August by-election as independent candidates.

“We are here because we want to symbolically make a statement that we are now leaving the ANC with this group of people because for a very long time we believed that the ANC has not really been friendly to us in a manner that has handled the issue that affect this 15 councillors. The ANC instead of protecting people who are fighting corruption in the municipality they decided to side with people who are thieves and thugs in the municipality. So that is why we feel this is no longer the ANC that we joined, this is a different ANC.”