Mem­bers defy ANC by sup­port­ing coun­cil­lor

Cape Argus - - NATION - BON­GANI HANS

MEM­BERS of the ANC de­fied the rul­ing party yes­ter­day when they turned up at the Pi­eter­mar­itzburg High Court to sup­port a coun­cil­lor who is im­pli­cated in the mur­der of a fel­low party mem­ber, Msawenkosi “Qashana” Mchunu.

The ANC pro­vin­cial sec­re­tary, Mdu­miseni Ntuli, had this week an­nounced that the pro­vin­cial ex­ec­u­tive com­mit­tee (PEC) in KwaZulu-Natal banned party mem­bers from pub­licly sup­port­ing the ac­cused. He said such ac­tion would have a neg­a­tive im­pact on the ANC’s rep­u­ta­tion.

“For any­body who per­sists there will be con­se­quences drawn from Rule 25 of the ANC con­sti­tu­tion, be­cause when the PEC takes a de­ci­sion it has to en­force those de­ci­sions, oth­er­wise the or­gan­i­sa­tion will be paral­ysed,” said Ntuli.

The mur­der ac­cused is Nkosi­nathi Gambu, a coun­cil­lor at Msun­duzi Mu­nic­i­pal­ity Ward 10, where Mchunu was killed in a hail of bul­lets at his home in May. The co-ac­cused are Skhany­iso Zimu, Sfiso Mbelu, Mlungisi Zimu, Ayanda Ngubane and Gift Zungu. They were ar­rested last month. The ac­cused ap­peared be­fore mag­is­trate Ashin Singh to ap­ply for bail.

Mchunu’s sup­port­ers also protested out­side the court. Ntuli had said that only sup­port­ers of mur­der vic­tims would be al­lowed to go to court be­cause the ANC should al­ways be on the side of jus­tice “and must al­ways be in favour of the vic­tims”.

A group of po­lice of­fi­cers main­tained a dis­tance of 100m between Mchunu’s sup­port­ers, dressed in ANC T-shirts bear­ing Pres­i­dent Cyril Ramaphosa’s face, and the ri­vals, who were mostly in non-party T-shirts with pic­tures of Gambu’s face.

Some of the plac­ards dis­played read: “Don’t sab­o­tage Gambu. Find guilty peo­ple and hands off from in­no­cent Gambu and our broth­ers #Wen­zeni uGambu??”

Sup­port­ers of the ac­cused vowed to con­tinue go­ing to court to show sup­port to their com­rades.

Menzi Mthethwa said: “We are go­ing to defy this ban be­cause it is un­fair. We have to sup­port our com­rades be­cause they had noth­ing to do with the crime.”

Xolani Mkhize said the ar­rest was a po­lit­i­cal plot to pre­vent Gambu from do­ing his work as ward coun­cil­lor.

“If we did not believe in these peo­ple’s in­no­cence we would not be here to sup­port them,” he said.

The ANC Women’s League sec­re­tary in the Moses Mab­hida re­gion, Thandi Zungu, called on the PEC to en­force its de­ci­sion to ban mem­bers from sup­port­ing mur­der sus­pects. “We want the ANC to take ac­tion against lead­ers who are in­volved in killing com­rades.

“The pro­vin­cial sec­re­tary has is­sued a ban; now we want it en­forced be­cause there are peo­ple who came to sup­port the ac­cused,” said Zungu.

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