Parties bring out big guns

With seven days to go before the 2016 local government elections, Pietermaritzburg and surrounding areas has become a hotbed of political activity, with leading political parties upping the ante ahead of the August 3, poll.
The ANC has confirmed that party president Jacob Zuma will today (Wednesday) lead the party in and around Pietermaritzburg garnering votes. On Monday the ruling party’s campaign received a further boost when the Moses Mabhida Region leadership welcomed new members from the United Democratic Movement(UDM) in Richmond, including the wife of former UDM Secretary Sifiso Nkabinde.
Zuma’s arrival today comes 24 hours after Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP) president Dr. Mangosuthu Buthelezi made a whistle stop visit in the city urging Pietermaritzburg voters to show their faith in his leadership by voting for the IFP. “Our country rotten because of corruption that remains in all levels of government we say our track record speaks for itself when we were in power there was not a whiff of corruption,” said Buthelezi. He urged voters to return to clean governance by voting for the IFP.   The IFP leader also expressed concern about over the incidents of violence in the build-up to the elections and called on the police to do everything possible to arrest the perpetrators of violence.
DA Msunduzi mayoral candidate Mergan Chetty said party activists will work until the early hours of the election to urge voters to come out in numbers. “Right up until five minutes before seven o’clock in the morning our members will be calling every voter to come in numbers in order to go and vote. We are not about being an opposition but are looking at running the city,” said Chetty who expressed optimism at the party’s chances of success next week.
Meanwhile the South African Police Services has expressed confidence that in the coming elections, the citizens of Pietermaritzburg and KZN will vote freely enjoying their constitutional rights to choose their preferred candidate to represent them.  Spokesperson Major Thulani Zwane said police members will be static in some of the voting stations to make sure that no criminal activities are taking place.   He added that a special task team has been formed to investigate all local government election related cases.

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