Sunday, June 13, 2010

Toilet war divides ANC

Cape Town's toilet war continues to divide the ANC, with the Women's League criticising their comrades in the ANC Youth League for demolishing the enclosures.

The Women's League in the Western Cape has written to the provincial task team, led by Labour Minister Membathisi Mdladlana, complaining about the action.

Meanwhile, claims have emerged that local youth league leader Loyiso Nkohla, who led the demolition of the corrugated-iron toilet enclosures built by the City of Cape Town, does not live in the Makhaza informal settlement in Khayelitsha, but is a branch secretary of the ANC in Nyanga (Ward 39).

Chairwoman of the Western Cape women's league, Nonzaliseko Makhanda, confirmed they had written to the ANC leadership.

"We are awaiting a response on the things we raised and complaints we made," she said.

While the women's league was against exposed toilets, it was opposed to their demolition. "We are part of the ANC... and it is not a party that destroys, but one that builds.

"The community has a right to speak for themselves if they want the toilets or not and we will be behind them... but you don't see us destroying toilets. As the women's league (we feel) there is a better way to handle the issue," said Makhanda.

Nkohla told Weekend Argus that it was "mad people" who were claiming he lived somewhere else.

"I stay at Makhaza, I'm no longer the branch secretary of Ward 39. The women's league has its own programmes and they have nothing to do with us," he said, adding that the youth did not regret tearing down the zinc enclosures.

Co-operative Governance Minister Sicelo Shiceka is to visit Makhaza this week, alongside Premier Helen Zille.

His spokeswoman, Vuyelwa Qinga-Vika, said Shiceka had spoken to Zille "to get a sense of what is going on" and would meet the community over the matter.

Last week, Weekend Argus reported that former arts and culture minister Pallo Jordan stormed out of a provincial ANC leadership meeting after he was attacked by the youth league for criticising their "criminal" action.

Jordan was particularly unhappy with the lack of discipline shown by the league.

Mdladlana has also criticised the youth league for lack of discipline.

The DA accused the ANC of using the toilets controversy to galvanise support for next year's local government elections.

- Weekend Argus

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