No comment from ANC on armed police escort for Mantashe in Eastern Cape

2014-04-04 09:41

The ANC today declined to comment on reports that ANC secretary general Gwede Mantashe had to be protected by armed police officers during an election campaign in Sterkspruit, Eastern Cape.

“I was not there and I have not even spoken to him,” African National Congress spokesperson Jackson Mthembu said.

“So I can’t comment until I’ve spoken to him. If there is a need to release a statement then, we will.”

The Dispatch Online reported that the rally took a volatile turn in Sterkspruit yesterday when Mantashe visited. It reported that two groups, each about 400-strong, shouted and cursed at each other.

One person yelled: “You are thieves, we will not vote for Nkandla.”

Another shouted: “Gwede does not care for us. We are not his sheep.”

The Dispatch Online did not clarify how it had become volatile.

Mantashe told the publication he was excited to be in the area.

“There was no hostile grouping. Actually I was excited that we blitzed the whole town.

“We didn’t run away from them, we asked them to bring a delegation we can talk to. They have not [done so],” he was quoted as saying.

“When you do not want to talk, but instead disturb ANC programmes, we say you are working with the opposition. It’s like someone riding a donkey backwards, they look like they are coming towards us [ANC] but in fact they are walking away.”

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