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ANC list sparks fury

By Sibongile Mashaba | 2011-03-31 06:23:02.0

THE ANC remained unmoved yesterday over its nomination lists as violent protests flared in Zandspruit near Johannesburg.

Zandspruit informal settlement residents are demanding the removal of a councillor from the party's candidate list.

The residents blame current councillor, Maureen Schneeman - who has been re-nominated - for lack of service delivery in the area. They claim their plea for houses, access to water and electricity have fallen on deaf ears.

Five people were injured when police fired rubber bullets at the protestors who went on a rampage, looting several businesses. A police officer was injured when protesters pelted law enforcers with stones.

"These people will be charged and released. We had scheduled a meeting with the community but no one came forward.

"The ANC Gauteng has closed the list process for candidates selection and names have been sent to the IEC. We don't expect any disciplined member of the ANC to organise protests based on the selection of candidates," said ANC Gauteng spokesperson Dumisa Ntuli.

"The closure of the process for selection of candidates necessitated that all cadres must focus on the critical task of winning local government elections."

Ntuli said those who wanted to undermine the ANC processes through protests would "face the consequences".

"No one should mobilise against the outcomes of the selection of candidates. Our candidates have been tested ... they enjoy overwhelming support from members of the communities who participated enthusiastically in the selection process," he said.

Ntuli said they believed that the protest was triggered by criminal elements.

Residents looted a supermarket and stole 150 crates of cool drinks worth R20000, acccording to shop owner, known only as Tony .

"It's very unfortunate because I help the community a lot. I donate money to the creché and this is how they thank me," Tony said.

The residents claim that:

  • They have to walk about a kilometre to the main road and wait for an ambulance because ambulances won't drive into their area.
  • The crime rate is high. They say five people were murdered in the area in February alone.
  • Toilets do not flush. It takes authorities three months to fix them, posing a health hazard.

Honeydew police's Major General Oswald Reddy said 88 people had been arrested.

Johannesburg Emergency Services spokesperson Nana Radebe said paramedics could not drive into the area because it was difficult for them to locate addresses.

Political analyst Elvis Masoga said: "Communities thought they would have the last say on nominations but they were wrong. The ANC has failed to explain its policy of involving communities."