ANC meet­ing ends in chaos

Six re­cover in hos­pi­tal af­ter fight breaks out at Ward 18 elec­tions

The Rep - - NEWS - ABONGILE SOLUNDWANA

AMEETING in­tended to elect the lead­er­ship of a new ANC ex­ec­u­tive Ward 18 (Zingquthu and Ndlovukazi) branch com­mit­tee and rep­re­sen­ta­tives to the pro­vin­cial con­fer­ence later this month in East London, re­sem­bled a bat­tle­field on Sun­day and landed six peo­ple in hos­pi­tal.

Chaos en­sued af­ter a num­ber of party mem­bers who wanted to be part of the elec­tions were al­legedly re­fused en­try to the Bonkolo Dam Con­fer­ence Cen­tre.

Dur­ing the fray, a ve­hi­cle be­long­ing to Re­gional Ex­ec­u­tive Com­mit­tee (REC) mem­ber Nom­buyiselo Ndlebe’s hus­band, Mendile, was over­turned. They were not in the car at the time.

Ndlebe said peo­ple were stabbed, stoned and as­saulted, while some ANC mem­bers man­aged to flee in their ve­hi­cles. By Wed­nes­day, all of them had been dis­charged from Fron­tier Hos­pi­tal.

Ndlebe, who was al­legedly also de­nied ac­cess to the meet­ing, said all those af­fected by the vi­o­lence were from the Zingquthu branch as about 300 peo­ple were locked out of the meet­ing, with a fur­ther 300 inside the premises.

She claimed that branch lead­ers had not in­formed peo­ple who was meant to at­tend the meet­ing.

ANC re­gional sec­re­tary Lu­sanda Sizani, who did not at­tend the meet­ing, said the party was pre­par­ing for the up­com­ing pro­vin­cial and na­tional con­fer­ence.

“The Chris Hani re­gion had a pro­gramme to elect its lead­er­ship and the branch gen­eral meet­ing [BGM] to elect del­e­gates. Ward 18 had pre­vi­ously con­ducted an AGM which was ruled null and void by the na­tional ex­ec­u­tive ap­peal com­mit­tee and was asked to do a re-run of a branch an­nual gen­eral meet­ing (BAGM) and a BGM on Sun­day.

“This was due to Ward 18 party mem­bers’ com­plaints,” Sizani said,

adding the pro­vin­cial ex­ec­u­tive com­mit­tee did not at­tend the meet­ing at the dam.

“The ver­dict of the na­tional ex­ec­u­tive com­mit­tee states that when a branch which was run by the REC is nul­li­fied by the na­tional ex­ec­u­tive com­mit­tee, its re­run [sic] should be con­ducted by the pro­vin­cial ex­ec­u­tive mem­bers. There are allegations that the meet­ing was run by REC mem­bers in spite of what hap­pened.”

Speak­ing on be­half of the REC, Sizani con­demned the fight­ing. “When mem­bers dis­agree it does not mean they are en­e­mies. We ap­peal to mem­bers to de­bate and hold dif­fer­ent views, but to do so with dig­nity in a way that does not un­der­mine the party’s im­age.”

He said there had also been a “dis­turb­ing” claim that while the vic­tims were taken to hos­pi­tal, the meet­ing con­tin­ued which, he said, il­lus­trated their des­per­a­tion for power.

“If the allegations are true, those who are po­lit­i­cally dis­ci­plined mem­bers of the ANC who have a po­lit­i­cal con­scious­ness with a sense of ma­tu­rity and cre­den­tials that are not ques­tion­able were sup­posed to have ad­journed the meet­ing.”

In­stead, the lead­ers should have en­sured peo­ple were taken to hos­pi­tal and their fam­i­lies in­formed, he said.

An REC meet­ing would look into the is­sue and make ar­range­ments to visit the branch and apol­o­gise to the af­fected fam­i­lies. The ANC would also in­ves­ti­gate the mat­ter as per­sonal is­sues may also have been in­volved.

Ko­mani po­lice spokes­woman cap­tain Namhla Mdle­leni said the fight ended when po­lice ar­rived on the scene. No ar­rests were made and no cases were opened.

Pic­ture: SUP­PLIED

ON ITS ROOF: This ve­hi­cle be­long­ing to the hus­band of ANC re­gional ex­ec­u­tive com­mit­tee mem­ber Nom­buyiselo Ndlebe was over­turned dur­ing a bat­tle be­tween party mem­bers at a Ward 18 branch meet­ing at the Bonkolo Dam Con­fer­ence Cen­tre on Sun­day

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