Expelled PDM member in surprise U-turn

Helena Johannes

The Popular Democratic Movement (PDM)-expelled John Pandeni constituency candidate Hafeni Mafita has revealed that he is willing to sit with PDM bosses and return to the party’s fold, a week after he was booted from the party.

This comes after ECN has declined the opposition party’s request to have him withdrawn and replaced on the ballot.

“I am willing to go back to PDM as I am planning to issue a public and party apology. I just want to apologize and make peace with everyone,” said Mafita.

Mafita said he is still campaigning for votes during the upcoming election as the incoming councilor for John Pandeni Constituency on the PDM’s ticket.

“I am urging people to vote for me as my aim and promises remain the same, and if I won, that will now be between me and the party,” he said.

Mafita was expelled from PDM on 03 November 2020, following allegations of racial remarks against white people on his Facebook account. In a press statement issued by the Secretary General of PDM Manuel Ngaringombe, Mafita was instructed to issue a public apology within 12 hours after his first utterances on social media, however he refused.

PDM wrote to ECN for Mafita to be withdrawn or replaced, however the proposal was declined in accordance with section 83 of the Electoral Act which according to media reports, the only way a duly nominated candidate can be withdrawn after nomination is when a candidate dies or become unfit in terms of health.

Mafita previously told Windhoek Observer that he was going to join and vote for the ruling party in the upcoming election as his former party did not play in his favor. “I am not going to take a membership card, but by heart I will join SWAPO,” he previously said.

He however made another U-turn, claiming his anger was the main cause of all what he previously said and in addition he thought black people will be on his side after his racial remarks.

“I am not joining SWAPO anymore, if they (PDM) call me back, I will go back,” he said.

Mafita however revealed that if he did not make it in the upcoming election, he will not join any political party as he did not regard himself as a politician. “I just emailed my CV and they called me for the interview, I am not really a politician,” he added.

PDM SG Ngaringombe said the party does not care whether Mafita remains on the ballots as they decided not to campaign for him and not offer any support during the upcoming election.

“I know he cannot win but if he wins, the party will call for a re-election in that constituency,” Ngaringombe said.

PDM president Henry Venaani said the party had no plans to withdraw its measures of expulsion against Mafita, but the position will be looked into should he apologize.

“He is racist, but I still have to find out from others what our next step will be if he apologizes,” said Venaani.

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