Folweni rocked by protests over ANC candidates

iol news pic Folweni protest 25feb

Durban – Protests in Durban’s southern Folweni area continued on Wednesday with reports that another eThekwini Metro Municipal vehicle had been torched.

Police spokesman, Major Thulani Zwane, said that a case of malicious damage to property had been opened at the Folweni police station.

Protesters blockaded the M35 road, some of them carrying placards that read “Xulu must fall”.

They do not want Thokozani Xulu, the branch secretary of the ward who has been nominated to represent the ruling African National Congress in the upcoming local government election.

Themba Mthembu, the South African Communist Party provincial secretary, said that as far as he was aware the violence was related to a conflict between two camps in the party — those who had supported eThekwini Metro Mayor James Nxumalo and those who supported Zandile Gumede, who late last year ousted Nxumalo as the ANC’s eThekwini regional chairperson.

“Xulu was leading the camp that was supporting Zandile. Folweni is known as one branch that is gate keeping,” said Mthembu.

A common complaint among SACP members has been that they have been excluded in participating in candidate nominations with the ANC refusing to renew their memberships.

The Daily News newspaper reported last month that the protesters wanted Sulu Nhlumayo to be their candidate.

The protests over the past four weeks in Folweni has resulted in damage to property as well as police vehicles. The area’s newly constructed fire station was also destroyed in the protests.

The province has seen a number of protests in, among others, Inchanga and Isithebe over nominations. The ANC leadership has been quick to intervene in these areas, but to date the intervention in Folweni has been low key and appears not to have had any positive outcome in bringing an end to the violence.

African News Agency

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