ANCYL members attack each other at meeting, one in hospital

2010-02-05 00:00

POLITICAL tension in the ranks of the ANC Youth League (ANCYL) in the Sisonke region is starting to show, following an exchange of blows among its members.

The fight, which took place on Sunday during the launch of a new ANCYL structure in ward six of Shayamoya Township in Kokstad, landed one ANCYL member, Nyameko Mhlongo, in hospital with serious injuries to the head.

Former branch secretary Khaya Xhorile’s vehicle was also stoned.

The fight is reported to have started after some ANCYL members disrupted a branch general meeting by allegedly assaulting other members with sjamboks.

Some ANCYL members are reported to have retaliated by throwing stones. Iron bars were also allegedly used as weapons.

Sisonke regional ANC secretary, Amon Zondi, condemned the incident, saying that the cause of the conflict was the upcoming regional and provincial ANC conference.

“Yes, when conferences are forthcoming, we always have different ideas but we don’t encourage physical fights. This is politics … not wrestling or boxing,” said Zondi.

He said the fight started after the branch general meeting, which was supposed to be held at the Shayamoya Hall. However, it had been discreetly moved to another venue by some members.

“That was an improper act, and pure cheating, because all members should be informed when there are changes to the venue,” he said.

Zondi said some members discovered that the venue was changed to the home of another youth league member, without them being formally informed. “They went there [to the Shayamoya Hall] and took some pictures to prove that the meeting was not held where it was supposed to be held, and that was when the fight started,” said Zondi.

ANCYL Sisonke chairman, Sindiso Magaqa, insisted that the meeting was held at the hall. “But, there is no breach of constitution. It can be held in the street or under a tree as long as rightful procedures are followed,” he said.

He said members were attacked while they were in the middle of the meeting and they fought back in self-defence. “Brainless people emerged from the middle of nowhere and attacked our members with sjamboks and iron bars while in the middle of the meeting.”

ANCYL secretary Thabiso Zulu said he will task delegates to investigate the matter. “If there was any misconduct during the proceedings of the meeting, the outcome will not be considered,” said Zulu.

Police spokesman Captain Thulani Zwane confirmed the incident, saying “cases of common assault, assault with the intent to cause grievous bodily harm and malicious damage to property are being investigated”.

No arrests have been made.

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