ANC to ‘crack down’ on violent members
The ANC has promised to take action against its members involved in violence.
“The ANC has never condoned violence,” said spokesperson Jackson Mthembu today.
“If any of its members are found to be using violence to put forward their own interests, they will have no home in the ANC.”
Violence has recently marred ANC branch meetings in Vereeniging, Gauteng; Gonubie, in Eastern Cape; and Taung, in North West.
Mthembu said all ANC members and structures had to abide by the party’s constitution.
He encouraged members to lay charges if they were intimidated or assaulted, and to report the matter to a branch or higher structure of the ANC, so disciplinary processes could be initiated.
Perpetrators could be charged with conduct unbecoming of an ANC member, or with bringing the party into disrepute.
“All the branches of the ANC are fully cognisant of what needs to be done,” he said.
Members of the party’s national executive committee (NEC) had been sent to every province to ensure preparations for the Mangaung conference in December were above board.
“Yes, we do have reports (of violence and intimidation) and we are dealing with those things that should not have happened,” Mthembu said.
In Vereeniging, three ANC members were assaulted after a branch meeting was aborted when the quorum was not met, according to national daily, The New Age.
One was said to be in a critical condition.
One of the victims, Thabo Makhuma, told the newspaper three men followed them after the meeting.
“They first poured beer on us before assaulting us with empty bottles,” he said.
ANC provincial spokesperson Dumisa Ntuli urged anyone who had been intimidated to lay a formal complaint, as similar incidents had been reported elsewhere, The New Age reported.
The Dispatch Online reported that an ANC branch meeting in the Eastern Cape ended in chair-throwing and injuries.
The Ward 28 branch, which includes parts of Gonubie and Beacon Bay, abandoned its meeting on Sunday after waiting eight hours for a quorum.
ANC Qinirha branch executive committee member Thulani Mthwa told the website only 46 of the 147 members needed for the quorum arrived.
It was facilitated by Buffalo City Metro regional executive committee member Mbulelo Nkonzo and regional chairperson Zukisa Faku.
When the postponement was announced, a member reportedly charged at Nkonzo.
“We tried to defuse the fight, but chairs were thrown at us. When we tried to run away, the doors were chained. We were left with no choice but to fight for our lives,” branch executive committee member Mncekeleli Molose told the Dispatch Online.
He suffered a cut to the ear. Another member, Xolisa Jita, suffered jaw injuries. Both were hospitalised.
North West police said yesterday they had arrested a man for his involvement in a shooting at an ANC meeting in Taung.
Brigadier Thulani Ngubane said the shooting occurred on Sunday while two ANC factions were engaged in a dispute in the Magogong village.
“One of the two fighting groups had a meeting at Magogong Primary School. The other group was not invited to the meeting which was aimed at… discussing the delegation to the ANC’s conference in Mangaung,” said Ngubane.
“There was a prior agreement between the two groups that they will jointly hold a meeting for that purpose.”
The uninvited group was allegedly barred from entering the school by armed guards, and an argument broke out.
“One of the security guards inside the school yard drew a firearm and pointed [it at] one lady who was among the locked-out group, but no shot was fired,” said Ngubane.
“A few moments after that, a shot was fired and that was when a man was hit in the right side of his chest.”
The victim was in a serious, but stable condition at the Kimberley Provincial Hospital.