African National Congress (ANC) Deputy President David Mabuza spent the entire day garnering support for his party in Newcastle, northern KwaZulu-Natal.

However, a scuffle broke out in Ward 8 where the community chased out ANC leaders. The community vented their anger after the ANC allegedly removed the community preferred candidate from the list.

Mabuza faced tough questions ranging from an area that has been without water for three weeks. Other service delivery issues included roads, housing, and a high unemployment rate in the area. The community however is still adamant that they will be voting.

“We have been without water for three weeks, as you can see we do not even have roads, look we don’t even have proper houses. We will still vote hoping the incoming councillors will bring about change in our lives,” says a disgruntled community member.

As Mabuza moved to Osizweni area, a scuffle broke out meters away from where the convoy accompanying him was. The community chased away ANC leaders. A group of disgruntled ANC members claimed their preferred candidate was sidelined because of his disability. Bheki Thwala, who is blind, says he received overwhelming support during community meetings.

“I was announced as the winner voted by the community, it was announced that Bheki Thwala is the one to contest ward councillor position for the ANC. Thwala got 109 votes, the community was extremely happy,  the community love the ANC, it had always voted for the ANC. The community voted for me knowing that I am blind, I had been working for the ANC though I am blind for over 15 years. The community knows my contribution, somehow someone decided I am not fit to become a councillor. We found out the person who was number 3 is the one now on the posters, the community is now is angry and now they do not want ANC in their ward,” says Thwala.

Mabuza will later attend an ANC Siyanqoka Rally in Ladysmith in the midlands.

LGE 2021 | Reporter Jayed-Leigh Paulse gives an update on the ANC’s Newcastle campaign: