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ANC, DA in war of words over Alex protests

DA leader Mmusi Maimane said his party cannot be blamed for the lack of service delivery in the troubled area.

Alexandra township residents burn tyres in the middle of the street as they clash with the Johannesburg Metro Police on 3 April 2019 in Johannesburg, South Africa. Picture: AFP

JOHANNESBURG - There's been a war of words between the African National Congress (ANC) and Democratic Alliance (DA) over the shut down in Alexandra in northern Johannesburg.

The township has seen protests with residents angry over a range of issues including a lack of services and housing.

Residents went on the rampage on Wednesday barricading roads with burning tyres and rocks.

They say the township has been ignored for far too long, calling on the City of Johannesburg to take them seriously.

DA leader Mmusi Maimane said his party cannot be blamed for the lack of service delivery in the troubled area.

“He must come and address the leadership, he’s the incumbent and you cannot shift the blame. As a leader, you need to take responsibility and talk to the community.”

But Ward 105 councillor Tefo Rapapu, of the ANC, said Johannesburg Major Herman Mashaba should stop what he calls political rhetoric.

Earlier on Thursday, community leaders gathered at the local stadium and resolved to hold a public meeting on Friday morning.

WATCH: #AlexTotalShutdown: Residents fed up with illegal structures

PARTY LISTS OBJECTIONS

The Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) will make a determination on objections to candidates who appear on the lists of political parties for Parliament and provincial legislatures on Monday.

While the ANC has addressed objections against their lists, the IEC said it could not release similar details about other parties as doing so would be against regulations.

Thirty-three people on the governing party's list of candidates were flagged by members of the public who made submissions to the IEC over allegations of wrongdoing including rape, fraud and corruption.

From Monday, the IEC will have eight days until the electoral court makes a decision on appeals of the received objections.

According to the Electoral Act, objectors and the registered parties which nominated candidates may appeal the decision of the commission to the electoral court by 11 April.

The IEC’s Sy Mamabolo said: “Part of the process if to afford parties whose candidates have been objected to and opportunity for them to respond. I think this is part of our principles of justice.”

ANC secretary general Ace Magashule says the party is ready to defend its members who include high ranking ministers such as Gwede Mantashe and Deputy President David Mabuza.

“There is no way the ANC itself may want to deal with its own members, who also have constitutional rights. Any member if you remove him from the list, he will go to the Constitutional Court and say my rights as a citizen [have been violeted].”

The cut-off date for the compilation of lists of political parties and the final lists of candidates who will contest elections will be published on 23 April.