An independent candidate in the Free State fears for his life as D-day for the 2016 Municipal Elections approaches.
Jeffrey Mangena, is standing as an independent candidate for ward 50 in Naledi Local Municipality – which is going to be incorporated into the Mangaung Metro Municipality.
He says the local elections will not be free nor fair because he has been threaten by members of the ANC in his area.
Mangena says as an independent candidate he is not able to campaign and travel freely as other candidates that are members of bigger and established political parties.
“Because of the threats that I have recently received I don’t think the upcoming Municipal Elections are going to be free and fair.
As an independent candidate my posters are torn apart, and wherever I campaign members of political parties disrupt my meetings. Independent candidates fear for their lives, I foresee violence in the upcoming elections,” he said.
In response to these allegations of intimidation and malicious damage to property, Free State ANC spokesperson, Thabo Meeko, says there are numerous fabrications by independent candidates and members of opposing political parties who tries to paint the ANC as a political party that tries to win the upcoming elections through the incitement of violence.
He says they have noted that there are attempts by opposing parties to claim that the ANC is bridging the electoral code of conduct.
“Opposing parties fear for the ANC’s victory in the Free State. Members of the ANC are familiar with the Independent Electoral Commission’s code of conduct and have been trained on correct measures to take when campaigning,” he explains.
He says any party that is of the view that its right to campaign has been infringed should rather lodge a claim with the Electoral Commission.
Katleho Morapela/Courant News