ANCYL supporters try to storm Zuma lecture

2012-12-07 09:11

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A group of North West ANC branch members, who are said to be mainly ANC Youth League supporters, tried to storm the Zuma lecture in Potchefstroom in a bid to highlight their dissatisfaction with the Mangaung registration process.

The police prevented them from coming close to the Madiba hall where the lecture was being hosted last night as they were not accredited to do so.

A branch member who was part of the demonstration told City Press that they had attempted to take a petition to Luthuli house on Tuesday, and they felt the lecture would provide them an opportunity to voice their unhappiness.

Police officers and demonstrators denied claims that the police had used force or water cannons to disperse the small crowd.

ANC spokesperson Keith Khoza said the group should have found more appropriate avenues to raise their unhappiness as storming the lecture would have dishonoured the ANC event.

The irony that the ANC’s Jacob Zuma lecture was hosted in a municipality that was temporarily controlled by the opposition was not lost on those who attended the event.

The ANC lost the Tlokwe local municipality last month when a faction of councillors tried to declare a motion of no-confidence on axed mayor Maphetle Maphetle, resulting in DA mayor Annette Combrinck being vote in by a technicality.

In a sense, Tlokwe is symptomatic of the in-fighting the has racked the party in the North West and other places even as it celebrated its 100 year anniversary this year.

It is ironic that the last ANC presidential lecture was hosted here, in Zuma’s absence because of international obligations, by Kgalema Motlanthe, who is also challenging Zuma for party leadership.

ANC provincial chairperson and staunch Zuma backer Supra Mahomapelo described the takeover of the municipality by the DA as “unacceptable and counter revolutionary”.

“We are going to make sure that that situation is corrected within no space of time. We will do everything in our power to make sure that we respect the voters,” he said.

Mahomapelo promised to bring about healing and reconciliation among party members in 2013, and to raise R101 from a million people to build a political school for the party.

But his efforts at reconciliation might be a case of too little too late for a province that has marred by political instability for the past few years.

While Mahomapelo and his supporters were celebrating Zuma, his pro-Motlanthe provincial secretary Kabelo Mataboge had been busy meeting branches who are disgruntled with the process of registering ANC branches for Mangaung.

The province has nominated Zuma for president and businessman Cyril Ramaphosa as his deputy.

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