ANCWL launch ends bloody

2011-09-15 00:00

THE launch of a branch of the ANC Women’s League (ANCWL) in Ward 32, Woodlands, turned chaotic and bloody when a 58-year-old woman took out a knife and stabbed two women, leaving one critically injured and the other with a minor cut to her right hand, on Tuesday night.

The Witness visited the scene during the night where members from Ghost Town were opposing those from Happy Valley and Site 11.

Members of the Happy Valley and Site 11 camps accused Ward 32 councillor Mary-Lee Schalkwyk of creating division in the ward, while Ghost Town members said the incident had nothing to do with the councillor.

They said the stabbing stemmed from a grudge held by members from Happy Valley.

Witnesses said the chaos took place in front of former mayor Zanele Hlatshwayo, who was deployed to see to it that the launch was a success.

The woman who was stabbed on her right hand said she was trying to break up the fight when she was stabbed. She asked to remain anonymous and has refused to open a case.

The Witness visited Manisa Sibongile Mnguni, who was admitted to Northdale Hospital after she was stabbed on her right breast.

“We were informed that there was an ANCWL launch in our branch in the afternoon and we were not happy because we had not been given enough time to prepare for it, but nevertheless, we decide to participate,” she said.

Mnguni said the fight started when local councillor Schalkwyk told another woman from Happy Valley that she is not their councillor and swore at her.

“When I went into the hall people were already singing and shouting because they were not happy with the way the councillor had been treating them, and they wanted the launch to be postponed as most of them did not have the necessary documentation, hence they were never adequately informed,” said Mnguni.

She also told the community in the hall what she had heard the councillor saying outside.

“That was when I saw this woman, who is a friend to the councillor, taking out a knife hidden under an ANC blanket and she stabbed and I fell down,” she said.

Schalkwyk said that in her 30 years in the ANC she has never experienced such violence as had occurred during the launch of the ANCWL.

She distanced herself from the allegations levelled against her.

“People from Happy Valley and Site 11 need to understand that there are no camps because elections are gone, we must now work together,” she said.

She also wished Mnguni a speedy recovery in hospital.

Police spokesperson Lieutenant-Colonel Joey Jeevan confirmed that a case of assault with intention to do grievous bodily harm has been opened and is being investigated.

Mavis Gaza (58) has been arrested and she appeared in court yesterday, Jeevan said.

“There was an altercation and thereafter it is alleged that the woman that was stabbed punched the other woman, who subsequently drew a knife to stab her in the chest,” she said.

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