EFF Northern Cape conference resumes after violence

2014-11-22 12:10

The aborted Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) Northern Cape elective assembly was set to be resumed at an undisclosed venue today.

But by this morning, the media was still in the dark about the new venue with the EFF leadership seemingly intent on managing the tensions away from media scrutiny.

National co-ordinator, Mpho Ramakatsa, confirmed the conference would be re-started but indicated that the party wanted to avoid a repetition of the violence that collapsed the initial conference last week.

The conference was put on hold after a group of armed men stormed the Savoy Hotel in Kimberley on Sunday.

Several people were injured as warring factions brandishing machetes threw bricks and chairs at each other.

One journalist was held hostage and got help from police before his camera was damaged.

Police are investigating several cases of assault and malicious damage to property.

“Head office has dispatched members of the war council to get to the bottom of the clashes...at this stage we can’t confirm or deny if these were our members,” said Ramakatsa.

Finding a venue may prove to be a nightmare for the EFF due to last week’s widely reported drama.

The manager at Ous Meisies Lodge, Phumzile Dlamini, said she had to put them out last Saturday after a camouflaged clad security guard armed with a shot gun demanded she should lock all the gates and hand over the keys to him.

It was at this point that chaos set in.

“Savoy hotel asked us to accommodate them on their behalf, the next thing they were searching each other even on their private parts... we never had such a situation of guests who do not even trust one another... after he told us that we do not know what has happened in the past and what may happen, for the sake of our safety we asked them to go,” said Dlamini.

The horrific drama happened on Sunday at the Savoy hotel.

Meanwhile, the Savoy Hotel’s general manager, Raj Maistry, said they do business with all political parties and would not comment on the damages at their premises.

“The instruction from head office is that we do not comment beyond saying this.”

Ramakatsa advised media houses only to arrive on Sunday afternoon as the delegation was still probing the incident as well as helping with conference preparations.

EFF elections co-ordinator Johannes Williams said the event will be held at a “central venue at the outskirts of Kimberley which will make it difficult for thugs to ferry hooligans to the venue.”

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