By LOYISO DYONGMAN
The local DA, Freedom Front Plus, and MIND parties have registered their councillor candidates in multiple wards for the 1 November Local Government Elections.
The Freedom Front Plus has registered just one candidate for all 14 Makana wards: Deon Els.
In the DA’s case, three of their candidates have two wards each.
The MIND party’s Jock McConnachie confirmed that they had registered the same candidate for Ward 13 and 14.
“We are contesting ten wards with different candidates except for Wards 13 and 14, where we have one candidate (Andrew Kirk). The DA is doubling up candidates in six wards,” said McConnachie.
Kevin Mileham, DA MP and Frontier Constituency Leader, said it is common for political parties to put up a candidate in multiple wards.
“In the DA’s case, it was a strategic decision. We allocate candidates where they are most attractive to voters. The purpose of this is to maximise the proportional representation vote – even where a party doesn’t win the ward, every vote counts towards its proportional representation in the council.
“Where a candidate wins in more than one ward, they would have to select which ward they wish to represent and forfeit the others. There would then be a bye-election (within 90 days) in the forfeited ward(s). No councillor can be the ward councillor of more than one ward,” said Mileham.
He further said that the DA only works with those who apply to be candidates for the Party. He said they must be members, subscribe to their values and principles, and undergo a lengthy and comprehensive interview process. Mileham said they have approximately 700 members in Makana, although they have many times more voters who are not members.
Dr Trevor Ngwane, a former councillor in Pimville in Soweto and a sociologist at the University of Johannesburg, said this should not have happened. “This is politically and morally wrong and disrespectful of the community of voters.
“It suggests that capitalist democracy has got serious limitations and in some respects is diseased. It is increasingly a platform for opportunists, aspirant bourgeoisie and political thugs. The power lies with the voters in the two wards to teach this scoundrel a lesson by giving them zero number of votes,” said Ngwane.
Philip Machanick, a council candidate for the newly formed Makana Citizens Front, said the IEC had informed him that it is legal to run in more than one ward. “However, this is not allowed for independents because they can only nominate in the ward where they are registered,” said Machanick.
IEC spokesperson Julie Stanworth confirmed that it is permitted to have a party candidate contesting more than one ward.