Group tells of fracas at the dam
ANC supporters hurt in a brawl which broke out at the ward 18 branch annual general meeting at the weekend, have denied that they were the aggressors.
A group of people who visited The Rep on Wednesday with ward 18 member Thembile Waxa, said they were told at the gate that only registered members could enter while several youths, believed to be non-members, could be found inside.
Waxa said he and other party supporters had just finished preparing candidates for the elections of the branch executive when they were denied entry to the Bonkolo Dam premises.
As they tried to open the gate, bottles of alcohol were thrown at them.
He said they feared for their lives as chaos ensued.
“It felt as if we were at Marikana or at the FNB Stadium stampede as people were trampling on others trying to escape.”
Waxa said those attacking the group were under the influence of alcohol as knives were brandished and people were stabbed and stoned.
“The people who were inside – who were not party members – are those who caused the disruption of the meeting.”
He said those outside the gates were innocent of wrongdoing and that the car that was overturned belonged to one of their members.
“In the preparation meeting we had requested for police to be delegated to prevent disruptions from happening as there were old people there, but no one paid any attention.”
He said the latest incident followed on about 10 previous occasions which sought to elect a new branch committee.
The conflict is related to dissatisfaction between Ndlovukazi and Zingqhutu residents about candidates.
Ward committee member Anele Xhentsa, who was also outside, said, “We did not take the people to be beaten at the event. We had a meeting with the region and there was an agreement that we should bring people for the meeting. I told the women who were being stoned to duck and run.”
He said the rules of the party did not indicate that people should be locked out.