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African National Congress (ANC) secretary-general Ace Magashule said that his promise to fix the bakkie of Chief Dinizulu Mthethwa shouldn’t be seen as vote buying.

Magashule promised the chief of KwaMthethwa in northern KwaZulu-Natal that his bakkie would be fixed in three weeks, but later U-turned to say that his promise was to inform government to fix it.

The secretary-general led a delegation of ANC officials to pay a courtesy call on the chief ahead of his door to door campaign in the area.

The IEC code of conduct described electoral fraud as offering any inducement or reward for a person to vote for a party.

So while campaigning in KwaMthethwa on Thursday, Magashule offered to inform government that the community needed a tarred road and farming implements and also offered to fix the chief’s bakkie in three weeks.

“The chief was saying, and this is what Contralesa has raided with the president and deputy president, that they don’t have the necessary tools and equipment to till the soil, his bakkie, they don’t have salaries like many other traditional leaders…”

The Democratic Alliance reported Magashule to the IEC when he offered a Cape Town resident money.

But he said he made Thursday’s promise for the government to fulfil after elections.

“I won’t assist personally but I will pass this to the government, which will still be the government of the ANC. What I’ve committed myself is that the government of the ANC will after the election return to people like Chief Mthethwa.”

Magashule continues on the campaign trail in Durban on Friday.

Meanwhile, former President Jacob Zuma’s no show in northern KwaZulu-Natal disappointed many ANC supporters who had hoped to see him.

The ANC released a statement announcing that Zuma would campaign alongside Magashule.

Magashule said Zuma must have been busy with other engagements but he apparently promised to join the campaign trail on Friday.

ANC supporters came out in their numbers in Empangeni, some of them to specifically see Zuma. Magashule, though, was quick to reassure them.

“I’m sure President [sic] Zuma is committed wherever he is. He was going to check whether he could join us but I know tomorrow he will join us.”

But KZN politics observer Xolani Dube said that the ANC has again showed that it was fractured.

“He is still a roleplayer. He is still a godfather in the province. There are people that are sympathetic to him and those that feel he has been hard done by and who might change their vote to other political organisations and others might go back to the IFP.”

Zuma is again expected to join the campaign in KwaDukuza but it is unclear if he will show up.


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