ANC PEC member charged with assault of opposition party member

2014-04-13 06:00

An ANC provincial executive committee (PEC) member has been charged for allegedly assaulting an opposition party member for campaigning in his village.

Phineas Selowe, the speaker of the Bushbuckridge council, allegedly slapped Bushbuckridge Residents Association (BRA) deputy chairperson Dan Mashigo while campaigning at Powerline village near Acornhoek in Mpumalanga last Sunday.

Selowe has been released on a warning after his appearance in the Bushbuckridge Magistrates’ Court this week.

BRA secretary Cleopus Maunye said Selowe did not want BRA to canvass for votes in the village and he allegedly came with a group of ANC members to tell them to leave Powerline village, where he is a ward councillor.

“We expect people like Selowe to assist in upholding the IEC’s [Independent Electoral Commission’s] code of conduct. He told our members that they were not allowed to campaign in his village and klapped Mashigo,” Maunye said.

ANC secretary in the Bohlabelo region Mandla Ndlovu said the regional executive committee was still going to meet with Selowe to hear his side of the story.

“When it’s election time, it’s difficult to make an assessment of what really happened. It’s a worrying situation, but it will get better after the elections,” Ndlovu said.

This incident is one of many showdowns between the BRA and ANC members in the Bohlabela area, but more accusations have been levelled against the BRA.

In February last year, BRA members chased Premier David Mabuza and MECs from Leroro village after accusing them of using state resources to campaign for the ANC.

A few months later, BRA members were arrested for allegedly assaulting three ANC volunteers who were busy wooing residents during a door-to-door campaign to vote for the ANC in next month’s general election.

BRA president Delta Mokoena and his party members have also been accused of vigilantism by residents in the area.

As a result, Mokoena was sentenced to two years imprisonment for intimidation and three years for accusing 66-year-old Ranson Mashile of practising witchcraft.

He is appealing the sentences and was released on R10 000 bail in each case.

Residents have claimed BRA members accused them of being witches and satanists during public meetings, and forced them to leave their homes.

Schools have also been closed after teachers and learners were accused of practising witchcraft and of being satanists.

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