'Luthuli will turn in his grave' if ANC loses Nelson Mandela Bay: Zuma

JUNE 2, 2015

The African National Congress (ANC) must maintain its hold on the Nelson Mandela Bay Metropolitan Municipality in the upcoming 2016 local government elections, President Jacob Zuma said on Monday in Uitenhage.

President Zuma led the ANC’s National Working Committee into the Nelson Mandela Bay to drum up support for the party ahead of the elections, which by all indications will see a tight race between newly appointed Executive Mayor and South African Football Association (SAFA) boss, Danny Jordaan, and Democratic Alliance (DA) Federal Chairperson, Athol Trollip.

Yesterday’s was the fourth visit by the ANC top brass to the Bay in less than a month.

As ANC support in the region decreased to 48% during 2014 general elections – among other reasons, due to infighting, the party moved to disband the ANC Nelson Mandela Bay Regional Committee and replaced it with a task team earlier in 2015.

The DA, which is equally keen to wrestle the Nelson Mandela Bay from the ANC, increased its share of the vote to above 40% in last year’s elections

The ANC in May appointed Jordaan as new Mayor and the President said this was a sign of renewal in the Bay as Jordaan has a reputation as a top-notch administrator.

While some recent reports alleged some disgruntled ANC councillors in the region were unhappy with Jordaan’s appointment, President Zuma appealed to them to support the new Mayor.

“I want you this time around, to assist the two deployees Danny Jordaan and his deputy and end this negative talk going around. Nelson Mandela Bay is the home of the ANC, if it can be won by another party, even Luthuli will turn in his grave. Even us, we will have to leave South Africa,” he said.

The President also said that government would provide turnaround support to the Nelson Mandela Bay Metro.

The departments of Human Settlements and Water have already announced projects worth over a R4 billion and R120 million respectively for the Bay.

President Zuma also urged party branches to revisit the tenets of the Freedom Charter.

“In the ANC the basis of our political education is this document. This is what the branches must know in the first instance - discuss them so that we don’t look at individuals, we look at the policy and programmes, that should be our priority. That is why we see other comrades as our enemies, as opponents.”

On Monday, DA leader Mmusi Maimane and Trollip also visited Uitenhage during Maimane’s nationwide campaign to rally support for his party. See videos below;