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Sacked Tshwane official denies unrest plot

2016-06-23 05:35
(Karabo Ngoepe, News24)

Johannesburg - Sacked Tshwane ANC deputy secretary George Matjila has been implicated in a WhatsApp message as the mastermind behind a plot to make the Tshwane metro ungovernable.

Matjila, who is also a mayoral committee member in Tshwane, however said the messages were “lies”.

The ANC’s regional deputy chairperson, Mapiti Matsena and the ANC Youth League regional chairperson Lesego Makhubela, were behind the rumours, he claimed.

“I deny those allegations. I am not even aware of the SMS or of any resolutions taken.”

He said he had not seen the report in the Pretoria News on the matter.

The WhatsApp message was doing the rounds among Tshwane ANC members on Tuesday following the nomination of Thoko Didiza as the ANC’s mayoral candidate for Tshwane.

Supporters of current mayor Kgosientso Ramokgopa, popularly known as Sputla, went on the rampage in protest.

The message named Matjila as head co-ordinator, together with 13 branch leaders and councillors and their phone numbers.

It reads:

“COURT CLASSIQUE RESOLUTIONS (Render the City ungovernable)
Burn all government and city properties.
Close exit and entrance points of all zones.
Burn the Regional Office.
Stop all political activities.

The Court Classique is a hotel near central Pretoria where local ANC organisers like to socialise.

The Pretoria News reported that the meeting happened soon after ANC deputy secretary general Jessie Duarte announced Didiza’s name as candidate on Monday.

State Security Agency spokesperson Brian Dube said “a number of messages are doing the rounds”. These implicated different factions and police were investigating them all.

Makhubela could not immediately be reached for comment.

Matjila said they were making these allegations because “their problem is the support I enjoy in the region, so they come up with these stories”.

He said he was a Ramokgopa supporter.

Matjila denied having been “in any Court Classique meeting” and said he did not endorse the burning of municipal property.

He reiterated, however, that 107 ANC branches wanted Ramokgopa in the Tshwane council. The 29 people in the party’s regional executive committee who nominated the mayor however put forward Matsena’s name instead.

“The issue is I have always supported Sputla and they never supported Sputla. They think the support Sputla enjoys is because of me.”

Matjila said he was one of the leaders addressing the people. 

“But when people are angry they are angry, it doesn’t matter whether they support you or not,” he said.

Matjila filed an appeal after he was booted out by the ANC’s provincial executive committee for destabilising the Tshwane ANC Youth League conference in 2014.

He was charged with misconduct after the league complained he had engineered a plan to disrupt the conference.

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Read more on: anc  |  pretoria  |  politics  |  local government  |  local elections 2016

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