Group tells of fra­cas at the dam

The Rep - - NEWS - ABONGILE SOLUNDWANA

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.

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