Jerry Phele, William Mthethwa join Hlaudi's ACM
Veteran actor Jerry Phele of Emzini Wezinziswa and Mzansi Magic's The Throne is one of the surprise candidates hoping to head to the National Assembly on Hlaudi Motsoeneng's party ticket after the national elections.
Phele, who joins another veteran, actress Marah Louw, as candidates for Motsoeneng's new party, is number 11 on the African Content Movement (ACM) candidate list. Louw sits pretty at the number two spot after party leader Motsoeneng.
Phele, who is popularly known as Mofokeng from the character he played in the popular sitcom, confirmed that he has joined Motsoeneng's party and that he was on the party's list to parliament. He refused to give more details about his move. "Yes, I can confirm that I am a member of ACM, and that my name is on the list," said Phele.
Asked if he intends to quit acting, Phele said he was busy at work shooting scenes and would answer the questions after the elections.
Another popular face on Motsoeneng's list is legendary musician William Mthethwa, who is sitting at number 122.
Mthethwa has always been vocal about his support for the former SABC COO, specifically the controversial leader's stance on the 90% local content policy during his tenure at the public broadcaster.
The Afro-soul artist who was once a staunch supporter of the ANC has dumped the ruling party to experiment with Motsoeneng's ACM, allegedly to show his appreciation for what Motsoeneng did for him and other legends.
An insider at the party said Mthethwa has always been loyal to Motsoeneng, starting from the time the former SABC strongman managed to secure funds for the legends and his role in making available money for needle time, which the artists had been waiting for for more than 10 years.
Mthethwa confirmed that he has dumped the ANC, saying the ACM is home to all artists in the country. He said he left the ANC after realising that every time after campaigning for the ANC in an election, he had nothing to show for it, and that it was the same for other artists.
"I have been a member of the ANC for so many years and I have been campaigning all these years, but nothing has ever come my way as William Mthethwa. All they say is that artists are going to die paupers," said the muso.
Mthethwa said he was not the only popular figure who has joined Motsoeneng's party and confirmed they have Louw and Phele in their stable. "ACM has four to five months in existence but it's already attracting big names, and our numbers at our events are also very good."
Mthethwa said they were certain they were going to secure a number of seats after the election, claiming that Motsoeneng is more popular than any other candidate in this election. "You go to every corner in the country, people know Hlaudi and the good work he has done at the SABC. Even nyaopes [drug addicts], street walkers, unemployed people and construction workers know who Hlaudi is."
ACM deputy secretary Esther Padi confirmed the two have joined the party. "They showed interest in the party because they realised ACM was the only movement that represents their interests and industry."