An ANC branch meeting in Lephalale, Limpopo, at the weekend in which two people were shot and 16 others were injured has angered ANC president Cyril Ramaphosa.
’’Yesterday, we received the sad news of comrades who were shot at at an ANC meeting in Lephalale. Our heads are hanging in shame.
’’We should strive to root out these negative tendencies in the movement where thugs are rented to disrupt meetings. They are rented to intimidate and even kill members of the ANC,’’ said Ramaphosa, who was virtually addressing a regional conference of the ANC’s Norman Mashabane region in Limpopo on Monday, according to a SA news website.
Police spokesperson Brigadier Mojalefa Mojapelo confirmed two cases of attempted murder, assault, malicious damage to property and public violence were being investigated after the incident on Saturday.
“Two people were reportedly shot and injured, others assaulted, and vehicles damaged. The two people who were allegedly shot have been taken to hospital,” he said.
A 41-year-old suspect has been arrested and a 9mm pistol recovered.
#LephalaleMayor Jack Maeko is playing his hooliganism politics once again, as always he uses unemployment youth & pays them R650 to disrupt meetings & rule the community with fear! Lephalale Sub Region has been terrorized by this man & factions, pic.twitter.com/QKsxOh71wU
— Kwena Molekwa (@Ruraltarain) June 20, 2021
Ramaphosa added: “The prestige of the ANC should not be sacrificed at the altar of political expediency and thuggery.
’’When we see thugs among us we must call them out because the ANC is not an organisation of thugs. My view is that those types of comrades are those who just want to plunder resources of our people and not serve our people. Those who want to serve our people are disciplined, are orderly, are humble — people who put the interests of the ANC ahead of their own.
“Those people are the type when their desires cannot be realised, everything should stop and they will embark on every means — from going to court, coming to meetings with weapons and guns to disrupt and to ensure that what they want is finally realised. That has to stop.’’
ANC national spokesperson Pule Mabe said in a statement of the disrupted branch general meeting, which was held to nominate a ward councillor candidate: “The disruption of organisational processes and meetings of the ANC is a new cancer that must be exorcised from the ranks of our movement.’’
ANC regional spokesperson Matome Taueatsoala said the “criminals followed their victims to the Witpoort Hospital, where doctors and nurses were threatened”, according to another SA news website.
“The ANC in Waterberg is surprised that machetes, pangas, knobkerries, and other sharp objects are able to find their way into ANC gatherings – a foreign practice that collides with the organisation’s tradition and protocols,” he said.
“What is more concerning, is that this type of violence also affects women, as some of them even had to run for cover, as their cars were pelted by stones, by this angry lynch mob.
’’These acts of thuggery and hooliganism have no space in our communities, let alone within the ANC – which is supposed to be a model of discipline and an example of good democratic ethos.
“This has compelled the ANC in Waterberg to call off all its activities in the Lephalale Sub-Region, until security is stabilised… This has the potential to turn the Lephalale Sub-Region into a hot spot for political violence in the province.” IOL