ANC to probe reasons behind ‘political’ protests

2014-02-23 14:00

The ANC in Mpumalanga has appointed a seven-member committee to investigate service-delivery protests?– with a specific mandate to find “political” ­reasons and identify ringleaders.

The resolution was taken at a provincial lekgotla this week. The special investigating committee will also be expected to teach communities that destroying property during protests is a criminal offence.

It has been a quiet year for protests in the province so far, with only Delmas and Machadodorp recording service delivery-related protests.

Last year, 12 protests were recorded in the Gert Sibande and Ehlanzeni ­regions between March and May.

Luthuli House has said it is up to ­individual provinces to decide if they wanted to investigate protests.

Provincial spokespersons for Gauteng and North West, which have been rocked by scores of protests this year, told City Press they were not planning to investigate protests.

Mpumalanga ANC secretary Lucky Ndinisa would not name the committee’s members, apart from saying that NEC member Dikeledi Magadzi was the convener.

Three ANC members who attended the lekgotla said State Security Minister Siyabonga Cwele was on the team. The rest were drawn from provincial and regional executive committees.

Ndinisa said the committee would receive its terms of reference tomorrow and the investigation should take three months.

He said: “We appointed seasoned ANC members with a high political ­integrity who won’t be biased. In our view, service-delivery protests are ­politically motivated.”

This will be the second service­delivery protest investigation in ­Mpumalanga.

The provincial department of cooperative governance and traditional ­affairs initiated the first one in 2009, which reportedly cost R20 million.

It came about after local ANC structures accused Premier David Mabuza’s rivals of trying to topple him by ­destabilising the province.

The report was never released.

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