EFF members beaten up in PMB township

2013-08-30 00:00

TWO members of the newly formed Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) are in a serious condition after being beaten up in Dambuza, Pietermaritzburg, allegedly for wearing their red berets and EFF T-shirts.

Mncedisi Dladla and Bongani Gwamanda were allegedly attacked on Sunday after attending an EFF gathering in Dambuza, an ANC stronghold.

Speaking from Edendale Hospital, where they were recovering this week, Dladla said they were ambushed by more than six men who beat them with sticks and rocks.

He said he and Gwamanda were walking to a nearby shop when they were attacked.

“Before we could reach the shop, we were ambushed by these guys, who asked us to return a cellphone they claimed we had stolen,” said Dladla.

He said the men cocked a gun and started beating them up.

“While hitting us they accused us of recruiting their ANC members into the EFF with our T-shirts and berets. ‘This is an ANC area,’ one of the guys said to us,” Dladla said.

Gwamanda remains unconscious at the hospital.

“When I saw that these guys were killing my friend, I decided to scream. It was then that I took a cellphone from them to try and call for help,” he said.

Dladla said they would have been killed if police had not arrived.

“It was clear that their intention was to kill us, said Dladla.

KwaZulu-Natal EFF convenor Reggie Ngcobo said he was shocked to hear of the attack on their members after his visit to the area on Sunday.

“We are in a democracy and we believe that everyone has a right to choose their political organisation, but such incidents paint a bad picture of our province,” he said.

Ngcobo said they had had similar experiences in other parts of the province where their members were intimidated or attacked for their political allegiance. “Despite their threats, we are going to recruit and campaign for the EFF,” he said.

Ngcobo said they had not opened a case with the police because they were waiting for their members to fully recover.

Dambuza councillor Sboniso “Sbono” Majola said he was shocked to hear of the attack and urged police to investigate and clear the name of the ANC.

“We cannot allow a situation where people are assaulted for having different political views when the ANC government runs this country democratically,” he said.

Majola said he had heard that there were EFF members in his ward, but said that that was not a problem because people had the right to belong to any political party.

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