Motlanthe man lays assault charges against ANC chair

2013-05-07 15:06

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The dust from Mangaung is yet to settle in Mpumalanga after a provincial campaigner for former ANC deputy president Kgalema Motlanthe was allegedly assaulted during a regional meeting.

Collen Sedibe – who was allegedly punched and kicked at Malalane last month – has since laid criminal charges against Ehlanzeni regional chairperson Ngrayi Ngwenya, and Bheki Mhlongo – a bodyguard of Nkomazi local municipality mayor Thulisile Khoza.

The assault allegedly happened on April 18 during a regional general council meeting when Sedibe called Ngwenya to order while an organisational report was being discussed.

“The chairperson was speaking when another speaker was on the floor. I then raised a point of order, but I was then assaulted,” Sedibe said.

Sedibe was subsequently charged by the ANC disciplinary committee for allegedly disrupting three meetings, including the regional general council. The hearing is ongoing.

Mpumalanga ANC secretary Lucky Ndinisa said he could not comment about the criminal charges against Ngwenya nor the disciplinary hearing.

“I think you better speak to them (Ngwenya and Sedibe). I can’t comment about those issues because I’ll be accused of pre-judging them,” Ndinisa said.

“The best I can do is to comment once all the cases have been concluded,” he added.

Ngwenya declined to comment.

Mpumalanga police spokesperson Sergeant Gerald Sedibe said the case had been referred to the Director of Public Prosecutions for a decision on whether to prosecute.

Gerald Sedibe said the case was opened in Nelspruit, but the docket had to be transferred to Malalane because that is where the alleged incident took place.

Collen Sedibe confirmed that he chose to open the case in Nelspruit because Ngwenya had “influence and connections” in Malalane.

Sedibe is, like all those who campaigned for Motlanthe in the province, considered to be members of a camp that has been trying for years to unseat Premier David Mabuza and his backers in ANC regional and provincial executive committees.

Ngwenya, on the other hand, is among Mabuza’s staunch supporters and has played a big role to ensure his re-election as provincial chairperson early last year.

It is not the first time Ngwenya has been accused of assaulting party members.

In 2011, former acting ANCYL chairperson Gerson Nevari, laid criminal charges against Ngwenya for allegedly assaulting him and disrupting the league’s meetings in Nkomazi.

Nevari later dropped the charges. Ngwenya was charged internally as well but the case did not progress because former provincial ANC deputy chairperson Charles Makola was not re-elected into the position.

Makola was the one who had ensured that internal disciplinary charges were laid.

» This story was updated after first published.

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