One of the men behind the pamphlet campaign calling on the government not to give tenders to Indians is a convicted armed robber who spent more than 11?years behind bars. Zweli Sangweni, one of the leaders of the Mazibuye African Forum, which issued the controversial pamphlets, was arrested in the early 1990s along with two other men for cash-in-transit robberies and was sentenced to 20 years in jail. Sangweni, who was released on parole in 2005, confirmed that he had a criminal past. “I can confirm that I received a 20-year jail sentence for armed robbery. I was a very young boy then. I served 11 years and some months as I was studying and teaching in prison and earned some meritorious points,” Sangweni told City Press this week. But he declined to comment on the details of the offence. “I can confirm that I received the sentence. I can’t talk to you about the details, but it happened,” said Sangweni. The disclosure comes as the ANC in the province scrambles to distance itself from Sangweni and his cousin and fellow Mazibuye African Forum leader Phumlani Mfeka. The pair insist they are fully fledged ANC members. Mfeka is also understood to be trying to position himself to enter the race for the presidency of the ANC Youth League (ANCYL) when the nomination process gets under way later this year. Both men told City Press this week that they are members of the ANC’s Ward?41 branch, which covers Newlands East, Siyanda and KwaMashu D Section. Mfeka said he would only comment on the ANCYL lobbying when the nomination process begins. “It depends on what happens in the nominations process in June. That is the only time one can comment conclusively. One wouldn’t want to comment on a hypothetical situation,” he said. Mfeka denied that the Mazibuye African Forum was racist or anti-Indian, saying its concerns were about the “economic marginalisation of Africans under the current system”. ANC KwaZulu-Natal spokesperson Senzo Mkhize said the party, which had earlier prohibited its members from participating in the Mazibuye African Forum, was investigating whether the two were in fact ANC members.