Only ‘handful of innocent children’ didn’t want us in Bekkersdal – ANC

2014-03-14 11:55

The Gauteng ANC has thanked residents of Bekkersdal for welcoming the party’s top officials with warm and open arms yesterday during its door to door campaign.

This, despite the fact that the ANC entourage, consisting of several members of the Gauteng Legislature, were chased away and pelted with stones by a mob of angry residents.

Read: Fuming Bekkersdal shows ANC the door

The ANC caucus downplayed the incident this morning, saying it was a only, “a handful of innocent children who were clearly being instigated from some quarters to sow mayhem by pelting legitimate public representatives of the people of Gauteng with stones”.

ANC chief whip in the Gauteng Legislature Brian Hlongwa said the children could not have known what they are doing: “They are not even of the voting age.”

Hlongwa also thanked the police and the ANC supporters from the area who, he said, ensured that no one was hurt.

“While we believe that shots were fired, presumably by law enforcement officers to ensure the safety of public representatives and the community, we are grateful that all went well.

“This conduct confirms that indeed the ANC remains the true custodian of democracy for our people. The presence and the interaction with members of the community in Bekkersdal brought hope to the residents of that community.

“We are satisfied that residents were able to express their concerns and many were positive about the visibility of public representatives in the community,” Hlongwa said.

He reiterated that there are no “no-go areas” in Gauteng or any part of South Africa for the ANC.

However, residents have vowed to prevent the ANC from campaigning in the area until their demands are met.

The demands include a public apology from Gauteng Premier Nomvula Mokonyane for saying the ANC does not want Bekkersdal residents’ “dirty votes”.

The community is also demanding the removal of the mayor of Westonaria, under which Bekkersdal falls.

They accuse Nonkoliso Tundzi of corruption, which they say has led to poor service delivery in the area.

She has denied the claims and have asked the community to produce proof.

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