ANC to formally introduce Didiza amid tensions over her mayoral candidacy

Residents in some Tshwane areas have refused to accept Didiza as their mayoral candidate, sparking protests.

FILE: Thoko Didiza in 2005. Picture: AFP.

PRETORIA - As the African National Congress (ANC) in Gauteng prepares to formally introduce Thoko Didiza as its mayoral candidate for Tshwane today, police are maintaining a strong presence in and around parts of the metro, where violence erupted this week.

Residents in Hammanskraal, Atteridgeville and Mamelodi refused to accept Didiza as their mayoral candidate, saying they want current mayor Kgosientso Ramokgopa to retain his post.

Police have confirmed that three people have been killed, and 40 arrested since the violence protests started on Sunday night.

The ANC will introduce Didiza to the media in Johannesburg today.

She takes over from Ramokgopa if the party retains Tshwane after the 3 August local government elections.

Regional executive committee member of the ANC in Tshwane, Lesego Makhubela, says Didiza will continue from where Ramokgopa left off.

"She's going to bring more programmes based on what the ANC has already built."

Most residents who protested against Didiza say they fear she will never make changes in the city which will affect them, but the ruling party has denied this, saying the statements are unfounded.

WATCH: Sporadic looting in Tshwane violent protests.


The Gauteng Education Department has appealed to residents and school governing bodies in Tshwane to assist in protecting schools and learning infrastructure.

The department says it's concerned about the disruption of schooling in various parts of the city due to the recent protests.

It says mid-year exams for matrics have been affected.

Department spokesperson Oupa Bodibe says, "We really appeal to members of the community to safeguard the schools and not destroy them. These are community assets and if we destroy the schools... We're already behind in terms of building schools. We don't have money to fix schools."


The police were deployed in their numbers in and around Tshwane, to make sure violence did flare up again last night.

Police say calm appeared to have returned, but they would maintain a strong presence in the affected areas.

Most residents have agreed to suspend protests until they receive feedback on a meeting between Gauteng leaders and ANC Secretary-General Gwede Mantashe.

The meeting scheduled between Gauteng ANC and Tshwane branch leaders yesterday was postponed, but no reasons were given for this.

WATCH: Businesses & Busses burn as Mabopane looters run rampant.


Meanwhile, the ANC Women's League has condemned what it's tribalism in South Africa, and a misconception that women appointed to higher positions, slept their way to the top.

The league's Bathabile Dlamini says one of the reasons residents of Tshwane are not happy with their new mayoral candidate is because she's a woman.

"Some of the placards that we have read, they are about comrade Thoko going to bed."

Dlamini said Didiza is as competent as Ramokgopa.

GALLERY: _Fiery protests engulf Atteridgeville overnight. _

To view a story map of how the Tshwane unrest unfolded, click here.