Communities must be represented by candidates of their choice in LGE: ANC

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African National Congress (ANC) Electoral Committee Head Kgalema Motlanthe has emphasised that communities must be represented by candidates of their choice in the local government elections.

In a media briefing, Motlanthe said that the candidate selection process cannot be completed without the participation of communities.

ANC branches in terms of the rules and procedures of the candidate selection process are required to choose four people to represent them in the polls.

He says once a candidate has been endorsed by a community branch meeting, even if they are not a member of the party, will they be able to stand.

“If the community feel that the four that come from the branch are not equal to the task and do not enjoy the confidence of the community, then the community is free to choose whom so ever if that person who commands the respect and confidence of the community happens to not be a member of the ANC they are then given the latitude to join and take up membership of the ANC.”

Earlier, ANC Acting Secretary-General Jessie Duarte said the party is preparing for elections should the polls go ahead on the 27th of October.

This after the Electoral Commission confirmed that it is applying to the Constitutional Court for a postponement of the elections.

The IEC wants the polls to be changed from October to February next year. There are mixed views in the political sector over whether it would be safe to hold elections this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Duarte was speaking during a virtual media briefing on Thursday morning.

“We are planning right now as if the elections are on the 27th October. It is very tight. Our major concern is that the election must be free and fair and that political parties must have the ability to properly explain their manifestos to the electorate and present their candidates in a well-organised manner,” says Duarte.

ANC media briefing on candidate selection for the Local Government Elections:

Duarte said the party will join the IEC in its Constitutional Court bid to have the Local Government Elections postponed to February 2022.

Duarte said the ANC is an interested party in the action based on its belief that political parties must have adequate time to campaign and properly select their councillor candidates.

“80% of our branches have elected their candidates but have not concluded their community meetings where the candidates are presented and where the communities can participate in the selection in the election of an ANC person who can represent them as a candidate in the Local Government Election. We will also be joining in the Constitutional Court request for the elections to be postponed to February,” said Duarte