Disgruntled ANC members call off protest march during Zuma’s visit

2014-01-09 09:17

An ANC protest march planned to coincide with President Jacob Zuma’s visit to Bushbuckridge today has been cancelled because members fear being expelled from the party.

Some members of the ANC in the Mpumalanga town – disgruntled with the leadership of Mpumalanga premier and provincial party chairperson David Mabuza – had planned to use today’s presidential visit to air their grievances.

Zuma and members of the ANC’s national executive committee are in Mpumalanga ahead of Saturday’s launch of the party’s election manifesto.

A senior ANC member in the Bohlabela region, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said: “There’s a big concern in Bushbuckridge about the way the ANC is run by provincial and regional leaders. The members were keen to highlight their problems, but they were talked out of it because during this time of campaigning for the elections they would be charged and expelled without a fair process to hear them out. It will be more like a kangaroo court.”

ANC members in Pienaar near Nelspruit were also organising for residents there to march in protest after Mabuza allegedly refused to support a R4 billion housing project.

But party leaders there told City Press that they would instead meet with Performance and Evaluation Minister Collins Chabane and State Security Minister Siyabonga Cwele tomorrow to raise their concerns.

The Mpumalanga branch of the South African Communist Party (SACP), known for its criticism of Mabuza’s administration, has denied allegations that it ganged up with dissatisfied ANC provincial executive committee members to plot rowdy behaviour in Mbombela.

Provincial SACP secretary Bonakele Majuba said the accusations were spread by those who did not understand the alliance.

“We know there are attempts by lumpen tenderpreneurs constipated by resources, to rent a crowd with red T-shirts disguised to be SACP members, to boo President Zuma and undermine the ANC.

“The SACP calls on all our formations to close ranks and give these enemy agents no quarter. We call on our movement to put systems in place to expose the disruptors and deal a blow to their agenda,” Majuba said.

Relations between the SACP and the ANC in Mpumalanga have been tense for some time, with the communists claiming they have been prevented from making decisions, have been left out of alliance programmes and that their members were purged from government jobs.

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