Richmond under risk of anarchy

2014-03-27 00:00

THE ANC’s Moses Mabhida Region has expressed concerns of potential “anarchy” set to destabilise the subregion and the functionality of the Richmond Municipality.

This follows the disruption of the Local Election Team (LET) meeting held in Richmond on Tuesday night.

According to sources, the meeting turned chaotic when ANC members loaded in taxis came to disrupt it.

ANC regional member Fana Lembede (38), who was chairing the meeting, was allegedly assaulted during the chaos.

Provincial police spokesperson Colonel Jay Naicker said a 38-year-old man was allegedly assaulted by another man during the meeting at Shepstone Road, Richmond.

“The motive for the incident is unknown at this stage. Richmond police are investigating a case of assault and no arrest has been made at this stage,” said Naicker.

A source who attended the meeting said Lembede had to be shielded until he was out of the room where the meeting was held, to “protect him from the onslaught by members who were smelling of alcohol whose aim was to disrupt the meeting”.

He said this was the second time a meeting of this nature was disturbed. On February 25, members who were allegedly drunk were bused in to cause chaos, he said.

“We know who is behind this; they are doing it because they want to create anarchy so that the ANC provincial executive committee will not have time to discipline certain ANC members in Richmond decisively, because they will have their hands full trying to resolve this anarchy.”

He said the LET is made up of the top five members of the seven branches, plus one member each from Sanco, the SACP and Cosatu.

ANC Moses Mabhida chairperson Alpha Shelembe was furious at those he described as “hellbent on undermining the structures and decisions of the ANC”.

“This is foreign to the ANC and tendencies need to be rooted out of the organisation, regardless of who the person is and what position he or she occupies in the ANC or government,” said an angry Shelembe.

He asked, “What are these people up to when they disrupt a machinery that is dealing with the elections?

“We have instructed police to decisively deal with the matter and the people responsible must be brought to book,” he said.

Shelembe said he was appalled by the action of people who call themselves ANC members but who disrupt election strategy meetings.

He said he had rushed to Richmond and met the station commissioner late on Tuesday night.

He said he asked to be kept informed about any developments in the case and was assured the case would be dealt with decisively.

“We were happy with that response, considering that community members have in the past complained that there were cases that had been suppressed in Richmond and that there were people there who considered themselves to be above the law,” said Shelembe.

He said, “Over and above the crimi­nal proceedings, we as the ANC will start internal disciplinary processes to uproot foreign tendencies and to instill discipline within the organisation.

“Because if this is not decisively dealt with, it has the potential to create anarchy to destabilise the sub-region and the functionality of the municipality,” said Shelembe.

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