African National Congress (ANC) Head of Elections Fikile Mbalula has conceded that the party’s councillor candidate selection process was not smooth and fraught with challenges.

He was briefing the media on the governing party’s plans for the 2021 local government elections earlier today.

The ANC has allowed communities to nominate who they want as their councillors for the upcoming elections, but some party members have accused their regional and provincial structures of removing their preferred candidates from the lists.

Some of them have been protesting outside Luthuli House for the past week. Mbalula admitted that it hasn’t been easy but insisted that anyone found guilty of wrongdoing will be dealt with.

“The ANC is proud of its democratic process. It is a very intensive process engaging with communities. It has not been a smooth process for us, it has its own ups and downs but where manipulations and undermining of the democratic process through our investigation will be found, heads will roll and individuals will face consequences.”

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ANC manifesto launch

The ANC also announced that it will launch its election manifesto in Tshwane on 27 September, emphasising that the event will be conducted in compliance with COVID-19 protocols.

“The ANC will launch its manifesto in Tshwane on Monday, 27th September 2021. In compliance with COVID-19 protocols and regulations, the ANC manifesto launch will be held in Tshwane with less than 500 people in attendance. The launch will be followed by the localised manifesto launches in the metros and the rest of local municipalities,” says Mbalula.

He added that ANC leadership and members will approach various communities this weekend to encourage people to register to vote.

“The ANC chose the path of engaging with communities in the selection of public representatives. We are satisfied that all our processes are proceeding according to schedule and we will meet the timelines as set out by the IEC. This coming weekend, our movement, led by President Cyril Ramaphosa and national officials, will be on the ground encouraging communities to take advantage of the IEC’s open voter registration weekend.”