Residents say they will torch ANC candidate’s home

Community in ward 11, Pietermaritzburg, don’t want councillor to stand for re-election

Photo of burning tyres and people standing around

Snathing residents block roads demanding that ward councillor Sipho Madonda not stand for re-election. Photo: Ntombi Mbomvu

By Nompendulo Ngubane

24 June 2016

Residents in Snathing, Pietermaritzburg, have threatened to torch the house of ward councillor Sipho Madonda if he is not removed as the ward 11 candidate for the local government elections in August. 

On Friday morning, the community again blocked roads in Snathing and stopped buses, taxis and cars leaving. People were forced to walk to work or catch public transport five kilometres away in Dambuza.

Residents accuse Madonda of not delivering basic services in ward 11. They say the only part of ward 11 that is developed is the part that is near his home. He is ward councillor for Dambuza, Magaba, Snathing, GG, Shayamoya and the Bridge.

Bongani Mlaba, one of the angry residents, said, “Our roads are a disgrace. That is not something new but they have been like that 10 years. Our parents are living in houses that are worse than that of a pigsty.”

Mlaba said, “The community does not want him to be ward councillor again. We have comrade Musa Shange whom we believe will better our lives as the Snathing community.

“He [Madonda] has killed our ward. We now have opposition parties such as NFP and EFF. We had no opposition in this ward. It was an ANC ward, but because of Madonda, opposition parties have crawled their way in. We have tried in so many ways to emphasise with the ANC that we don’t want Madonda as ward councillor.”

Mlaba said Madonda was just “a vase”, meaning he was no more than an ornament.

Speaking at an ANC manifesto launch in Pietermaritzburg recently, the regional secretary of the ANC in the Moses Mabhida Region, Sihle Zikalala, said, as the ANC they are done with the ward councillors list. He said those who are unhappy about the chosen candidates have to accept the chosen candidates. He said they have already submitted the lists to the IEC.

Noluthando Ngema said, “Madonda is on the list and that is why we sacrificed our time and came here. You can’t elect someone who is never available to listen to the community … He doesn’t come to us. We are the ones who look for him in taverns. How can they allow someone like that to be the head of the ward for the third time? … Madonda must be removed from the list, if not so the worst is still to come.”

Madonda said he is aware that there are some people who are not happy with him.

“There is really not much I can say about today’s incident. If people threaten that they will set you alight, there is nothing you can say. Some people are not happy, but that is beyond my control,” he said.

Madonda said he could not confirm that he is in fact on the official list.

“That is not for me to answer. I can only get to that once the official list is out,” said Madonda.