ANC FS expels failed councillor candidates contesting as independents

While the party itself did not link these members to suspended secretary general Ace Magashule, some say he ensured those loyal to him were able to continue frustrating the ANC from within.

The ANC launched its local government elections manifesto in Tshwane on 27 September 2021. Picture: Abigail Javier/Eyewitness News

JOHANNESBURG - The Free State African National Congress (ANC) on Wednesday said members who failed to make it as councillor candidates and had registered to contest in the upcoming local government elections as independents have automatically been expelled from the party.

While the party itself did not link these members to suspended secretary general Ace Magashule, some say he ensured those loyal to him were able to continue frustrating the ANC from within.

Interim provincial task team coordinator William Bulwane - who briefed the media on Wednesday - accused the members flipping on the ANC, being driven by personal interests and using money to lobby vulnerable communities in order to get their way.

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Bulwane also complained of political intolerance in areas such as Metsimaholo and Kopanong where he said ANC posters were burnt and defaced.

The ANC in the Free State is caught between growing opposition and internal tensions with those loyal to Magashule apparently becoming tough to deal with.

Bulwane used Wednesday’s media briefing as an attempt to give a line of march.

He complained about members who were not selected as the party’s councillor candidates and were now seeking to contest against the ANC in the upcoming polls.

Bulwane said this was happening in at least four of the province’s five regions.

He said those contesting had made a decision that they no longer wanted to be in the ANC.

“Those individuals are not our members; they are the enemies our people. We will fight them in anything that we do to ensure that we defeat them.”

While Magashule has largely retreated from ANC public events as per the terms of his suspension, his influence remains at the heart of happenings in the Free State.

The interim task team has been working to remove those aligned to him from key posts in municipalities in the province.

But the greater battle has to be dealing with what's been said to be historically low voter registration among ANC strong-holds.

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