Activists suspect foul play

2011-08-08 00:00

ANC activists who staged a sit-in protest for more than a month at the ANC’s Pietermaritzburg regional offices suspect that the outgoing regional executive committee (REC) is planning to manipulate the coming regional elective conference in its favour, although it has been rejected by most branches.

At a meeting held at the steps of the ANC’s Moses Mabhida regional offices in Jabu Ndlovu Street yesterday the activists complained about the removal of certain files from the ANC offices by outgoing regional secretary Supa Zuma on Saturday, in the presence of the police.

The ANC in KwaZulu-Natal is expected to hold elective regional conferences between August and October.

A spokesperson for the activists, Sbongile Mkhize, said that when police removed them from the premises last month it was agreed that if anyone wanted to visit the offices, all parties — including the police, REC officials and a representative from the activists — wiould be present. This was because the activists had left their belongings inside the building when they were evicted. It was agreed that the police would keep the keys.

One of the ANC activists, Dumisani Gumede, said that on Saturday while they were monitoring the offices as usual, they observed Zuma entering the building accompanied by police.

“They spent about 30 minutes inside and came out with boxes full of files which they loaded in their vehicles,” Gumede said.

Mkhize said although police have the activists’ contact numbers they failed to notify them that Zuma wanted to enter the offices as per agreement.

However, Zuma denied there was such an agreement and said that as far as he knows the activists were booted out of the ANC offices after the ANC had secured a court order to that effect.

“I went there to collect files pertaining to ANC membership as they have to be audited before the party holds its regional conferences. All the ANC regions have submitted their membership for auditing in preparation for the regional elective conferences. It’s only the Moses Mabhida branch that was yet to do that,” Zuma said

Mkhize said they suspect that the REC will now manipulate the membership files to give its members the upper hand during the regional conference.

Police spokesperson Lieutenant Joey Jeevan confirmed that a request for an escort to the offices was received from the ANC on Saturday.

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