The ANC in KwaZulu-Natal says although party members are unhappy with the arrest of former president Jacob Zuma, it doesn’t believe that it will lead to voter apathy from its supporters in the upcoming local government elections. Zuma is currently serving a 15-month jail sentence after he was arrested two months ago for contempt of court following his refusal to appear before the State Capture Commission.

He was admitted to a military hospital last month for an undisclosed ailment.

ANC Provincial Spokesperson Nhlakanipho Ntombela says, “ANC members, I think, will be very clear in differentiating these issues. While we got sympathy for the former president and support the former president, but of primary importance is the victory of the ANC in the forthcoming elections and that requires every support and volunteer of the ANC to go out in their numbers to mobilise for the ANC victory and go out and vote for the ANC.”

The ANC in KwaZulu-Natal says it is at risk of losing control of the eDumbe and Pongola municipalities in the north of the province. This follows the party’s failure to field council candidates for the upcoming elections in several municipalities.

Reports say the ANC has failed to register candidates in up to 90 municipalities across the country before the 23 August deadline.

Meanwhile, the party convened regional conferences at eMalahleni in Newcastle and the far north.

Hundreds of ANC members who are councilors in five municipalities in Zululand, come the elections will be out in the cold. The party failed to field candidates in Zululand District, eDumbe, Pongola and Nongoma. It also failed to register some ward candidates in KwaDukuza and at Ndwedwe, north of Durban.

Addressing the ANC’s eMalahleni regional conference, provincial party spokesperson, Nhlakanipho Ntombela, said, “In Zululand, we can say that as things stand there are a number of municipalities … we will not be … we can say our mayor in eDumbe won’t come back after elections. ANC mayor in Pongola won’t come back as mayor.”

In line with the party’s resolution, the ANC in the province has removed from its candidate’s lists of municipal elections all members facing court cases. Among them are mayors including Newcastle mayor Doctor Ntuthuko Mahlaba and Alfred Duma Mayor, Vincent Madlala.

Speaking on the sidelines of the eMalahleni regional conference in Newcastle, Ntombela said members facing court charges are, however, allowed to contest for positions during conferences.

“Any member of the ANC in good standing, not suspended, not expelled, he or she is eligible to stand for any position in the ANC. But secondly, the ANC took a decision that all members who are facing  court charges have been removed from the ANC list of the forthcoming elections of 2021 to 2026.”

In the eMalahleni region the incumbent regional chairperson, Ntuthuko Mahlaba, who has since stepped aside wants to be re-elected to the position. His name has also been removed from the list of ANC candidates as he faces a court case in connection with assault charges.

EXCLUSIVE | In conversation with Paul Mashatile on the state of ANC: