Bullets, rocks fly at chaotic ANC branch meeting

2016-05-09 18:53
A car that was damaged when violence erupted during an ANC BGM in Hammanskraal  (Supplied to News24)

A car that was damaged when violence erupted during an ANC BGM in Hammanskraal (Supplied to News24)

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Pretoria - A meeting to elect an ANC councillor in Ward 95, Hammanskraal was marred by violence when two groups clashed and a bodyguard protecting a Tshwane politician was shot.

Sources who were at the Sunday meeting told News24 that it was disrupted by a group of members known to be associates of expelled ANC Tshwane deputy secretary and member of the mayoral committee George Matjila.

Matjila was charged with being the "mastermind" behind a plan to disrupt the ANC Youth League's Tshwane regional congress which took place at the Roodevallei conference centre in Pretoria in August 2014.

The motive behind the plan was allegedly to prevent the regional congress from proceeding because, in his view, a faction hostile to the regional leadership was going to emerge and destabilise it. Matjila was charged with contravening the ANC's Constitution.

He is currently appealing the expulsion.

"Following disputes in the region, the ANC said provincial leaders would be attending branch general meetings and a lady was sent to the meeting but she arrived with core supporters of the ward councillor and George Matjila. They told police officers who were outside to leave as the meeting would be safe," said a source speaking on condition of anonymity.

"When we tried to get into the venue, they attacked us. They threw stones at us and burnt a guard room. They said they would burn us if we tried to get in. They were only allowing people from other wards entrance."

The source said the violence escalated and windows of Marotola Primary School in Stinkwater were damaged on Sunday.

Those attending fled the school but one man was caught and assaulted. The source said the man's arms were broken in the process.

Those who had managed to escape were allegedly followed home where violence broke out again.

"They went to the house of one police officer who is also an ANC member and damaged his car. They chased Tshwane MMC for corporate services Thembi Mmoko and started firing shots at her. The VIP protector retaliated and managed to drive away," said the source.

The source alleged that the mob then proceeded to Mmoko's house. The VIP security guard is said to have returned to ensure the safety of those in the house.

"When the protector returned to the house he was shot in the shoulder."

This was the second time that Mmoko had to duck bullets following a meeting in the ward.

Damage to property

In February shots were fired into her house following a meeting that turned violent. During that incident, his son was standing in the yard when a group of men fired shots in the direction of their house.

Police spokesperson Lieutenant Sarah Lesabane confirmed the incident. She said no one had been arrested.

"Cases of malicious damage to property and public violence were opened but we are just waiting for those who were shot to come and open cases. A guard room was burnt and 20 windows were broken during the incident. Investigations are continuing," said Lesabane.

ANC regional secretary, Paul Mojapelo said the chaos that erupted on the day prevented the meeting from taking place. He said the party condemned the violence and action would be taken against members found to be in the wrong.

"As the ANC we condemn violence with the contempt it deserves. We don't believe we should resolve our differences through violence.

"We call on the police to arrest those who violated the law. Those members who violated the Constitution of the ANC, we will take disciplinary actions against them," said Mojapelo.

He added that Matjila was not at the meeting on the day. He said he was in a meeting to seek further clarity on the entire incident. 

Read more on:    anc  |  pretoria  |  crime  |  politics

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