Text puts ANC in the cor­ner

Party de­nies sin­is­ter mo­tives as SMS does rounds on so­cial me­dia

The Star Late Edition - - POLITICS - TEBOGO MONAMA tebogo.monama@inl.co.za BREZHNEV MALABA peace­ful

THE ANC in Joburg is grap­pling to prove it doesn’t have an or­gan­ised ac­tion plan to dis­rupt mayor Her­man Mashaba’s gov­ern­ment ac­tiv­i­ties.

This af­ter it emerged that a lo­cal leader had sent a text mes­sage to ANC members which could be in­ter­preted as in­cite­ment to dis­rupt one of the com­mu­nity meet­ings on the In­te­grated Devel­op­ment Plan, the mu­nic­i­pal gov­ern­ment’s blueprint for devel­op­ment.

The Star has es­tab­lished that sec­re­tary of the Zone 11 re­gion in Joburg South, Sim­phiwe Hlafa, urged zone chair­per­son Pixie Jafta to send a text en­cour­ag­ing party members to at­tend a meet­ing hosted by the Joburg mayor to “show the DA that we never voted for them in Johannesburg; they were put there by the EFF”.

The SMS was sent a day af­ter vi­o­lence erupted dur­ing an IDP meet­ing at the Midrand High School, where two peo­ple were in­jured on Tues­day.

Hlafa asked Jafta to for­ward the mes­sage, which was do­ing the rounds on so­cial me­dia, to ANC members ahead of an IDP meet­ing on Wed­nes­day night at the Johannesburg City Hall.

The state­ment en­cour­aged ANC members not to wear ANC regalia at the meet­ing.

No vi­o­lence broke out at the gathering.

Yes­ter­day, Hlafa con­firmed he had asked Jafta to send the mes­sage, but claimed it was taken out of con­text.

“We have an in­ter­est in the IDP struc­tures be­cause as the ANC we are still the leader of so­ci­ety. Mashaba is deliberately quot­ing the mes­sage out of con­text,” he said. “That mes­sage is be­ing misinterpreted.

“The only rea­son we said IN A TECTONIC shift on Zim­babwe’s po­lit­i­cal land­scape, for­mer vice-pres­i­dent Joice Mu­juru, ex-prime min­is­ter Mor­gan Ts­van­gi­rai and for­mer deputy premier Welsh­man Ncube have joined forces to form a coali­tion against Pres­i­dent Robert Mu­gabe in next year’s gen­eral elec­tion.

Mu­juru, 62, was a guer­rilla leader dur­ing the coun­try’s lib­er­a­tion war in the 1970s and this was be­cause our members were mo­ered by the EFF in the Midrand meet­ing. It is not an ex­pres­sion of vi­o­lence. The ANC does not pro­mote vi­o­lence,” Hlafa said.

But Jafta claims she did not au­thor the mes­sage.

“I don’t know who the source is. I have seen the mes­sages and I am also sur­prised. Dis­rupt­ing the DA is not part of our agenda.

“We are a peace­ful or­gan­i­sa­tion and think it is im­por­tant that res­i­dents en­gage with gov­ern­ment,” she said.

Jafta said the mes­sage “was a tac­tic by Mashaba to paint the ANC as hooli­gans”.

“We are a very or­gan­i­sa­tion.

“Our agenda is not to dis­rupt ser­vice de­liv­ery. We are pro-poor,” Jafta said.

Her re­gion was sched­uled to hold a meet­ing last night to dis­cuss the mes­sages.

Mashaba’s spokesper­son Tony Tav­erna-Turisan said the mayor was wor­ried about the text mes­sage, say­ing it was writ­ten by an ANC of­fi­cial to en­cour­age the party’s members to cause chaos at pub­lic en­gage­ments.

“The mayor is deeply wor­ried about the mes­sage, how­ever, there is noth­ing he can do but con­tinue with the pub­lic en­gage­ments,” said Tav­erna-Turisan. “We can­not be desta­bilised, but must con­tinue to en­gage with the com­mu­nity as we are con­sti­tu­tion­ally man­dated.”

He said that the city would in­crease se­cu­rity at the last few of its IDP meet­ings.

Jolidee Ma­tongo, ANC Joburg re­gion spokesper­son, has called on the party’s members, who were in­jured in the Midrand High School at­tack, to open crim­i­nal cases.

The party has de­nied be­ing the cause of the vi­o­lence.

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