‘ANC avoided more factional battles in Tshwane by choosing Didiza’

Jessie Duarte says the ANC had to compromise and appoint someone neutral to avoid factional battles.

FILE: Thoko Didiza. Picture: YouTube screengrab.

JOHANNESBURG - The African National Congress (ANC) says it decided to appoint Thoko Didiza as Tshwane mayoral candidate, because choosing between current mayor Kgosientsho Ramokgopa and his deputy regional chairperson Mapiti Matsena, would have led to more divisions in the City.

Yesterday, violence erupted between supporters of Ramokgopa and his rival, Matsena, leading to one person being killed and others injured.

ANC Deputy Secretary General Jessie Duarte says the party had to compromise and appoint someone neutral as mayoral candidate to avoid factional battles leading to violence.

"The intensity of the competition in Tshwane had led to a breakdown in relationships between two key individuals in that region."

The ANC in Tshwane has for long been divided between Ramokgopa and Matsena.

Duarte says these two leaders, who competed against each other, must now go back to the ground and work toward uniting the ANC.

LISTEN: ANC announces Thoko Didiza as Tshwane Metro mayoral candidate.

'FOCUS ON WINNING THE CAPITAL'

ANC Gauteng Chairperson Paul Mashatile has called on ANC members in Tshwane to focus on winning the capital and stand by Didiza as mayoral candidate.

Mashatile says the announcement of Didiza as mayoral candidate must end the violence between supporters of Ramokgopa and Matsena.

"We call for calm among our members. We must make sure that there is peace in the area."

He says the focus now should be on uniting the region.

"We have now closed the issues of candidates and mayors, we must now focus on winning the city."