EFF: We won’t tolerate fights between fighters

2014-11-17 21:36

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The Economic Freedom Fighters has expressed disappointment at the collapse of its Northern Cape conference into chaos and violence at the weekend.

“The war council, which sat this morning, has received reports on the violence and disruption of the meeting and damage to property and will be taking the necessary steps to ensure that remedial action is undertaken,” spokesperson Mbuyiseni Ndlozi said in a statement.

“Those responsible for violence against members and damage to property will be dealt with harshly.”

Earlier, Northern Cape police said 10 cases had been opened with the police in Kimberley following the chaotic conference.

One case was opened on Saturday and the others were opened yesterday, said Colonel Priscilla Naidu.

“On Saturday, 15 November, a member from the party alleged that he was assaulted by another member while at the conference,” she said.

“On Sunday, 16 November, chaos erupted at the conference and fights broke out between members of the party. Police responded to restore calm. A total of 10 cases were opened by individuals.”

The cases included assault, assault with intent to do grievous bodily harm, malicious damage to property, and discharging a firearm in a municipal area.

“No arrests have been made and all these cases are under investigation.”

Naidu could not provide any further details on what transpired at the conference, which took place at the Savoy Hotel. It was also not clear how many people were injured.

Ndlozi said the EFF would never reward disrupters.

He called on party members to follow internal processes and the party’s code of conduct.

“A fighter stops being a fighter when he raises his or her hand on another fighter or throws a stone to destroy the property hosting EFF gatherings.”

The Star reported that EFF members armed with machetes, pangas and bricks converged on the hotel on Sunday, where the provincial leadership was to be elected.

There was reportedly a jostling for top posts between incumbent provincial leader Aubrey Baartman and conference delegate Ronald Februarie.

According to the newspaper, the hotel’s front doors were broken open and bricks flew between EFF factions. People ran and hid behind cars.

The Star reported that Februarie ran out of the building with blood pouring from his mouth and down his arm.

Inside, furniture and doors were smashed, blood was smeared on the floor, and EFF members insulted each other before the police arrived.

A reporter had to take cover and call the police for help after delegates tried to take his camera.

EFF co-ordinator Mmabatho Mokause was hit on the head with a chair, the newspaper reported.

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