At least seven municipalities in KwaZulu-Natal are amongst the 30 mentioned by the African National Congress (ANC) that missed the Independent Electoral Commission’s (IEC) registration deadline for candidates ahead of the local government elections.
Most of the affected municipalities are in the Zululand District which contains five local councils.
Challenges within the party
The ANC’s challenges in KwaZulu-Natal continue. In recent months, disgruntled branch members took to the party’s offices to lodge complaints about the selection processes of candidates for the upcoming municipal elections.
The ANC has over 200 disputes in the province. While the party managed to submit the names of some of their candidates in the province to the Electoral Commission, others are outstanding.
The party is still trying to resolve disputes lodged by aggrieved party members. They accuse their local leadership of gatekeeping and manipulation of candidate lists. In some wards, members claim people who were not elected by them made the cut.
Names of ward candidates for most municipalities in the Zululand District were not submitted. These names include the party’s Proportional Representation ( PR) lists in the same areas. Other municipalities in the province were also affected.
ANC Spokesperson in the province Nhlakanipho Ntombela says the party will deliberate on the issue of the submission of the candidates list in the Provincial Executive Committee meeting.
“Among the issues to be discussed are the glitches on the submission of the list on the IEC. We will know for certain after the meeting that how many wards that are affected or how many municipalities are affected, in particular in KZN which might disallow us to contest those municipalities. Hopefully, the outcomes of the appeal on the IEC electoral court will be positive on our side. If not, we will have to take it as it is.”
Further division within the party
Political analyst Professor Bheki Mngomezulu believes this could cause further divisions within the ANC.
“This development may add to the already existing problems, which the party is currently contending with and different interpretations will be given. The most important question will be given the fact that the ANC has vast experience in terms of meeting the IEC deadline. What has gone wrong this time around? Was the problem with the IEC system or was the problem on the side of the ANC?”
The Constitutional Court is yet to decide on the application by the IEC to postpone the local government elections. If postponed, this may grant the ANC another opportunity to register candidates for the municipal elections.