Ruling party infighting in Ashdown

2016-02-04 06:00
Mabongi Nkabinde became a victim of the ANC’s ‘bloody war’ over positions and        candidates in Ashdown as she reportedly wanted to vote out the current ward 23 councillor in a meeting on Sunday.  PHOTO: supplied

Mabongi Nkabinde became a victim of the ANC’s ‘bloody war’ over positions and candidates in Ashdown as she reportedly wanted to vote out the current ward 23 councillor in a meeting on Sunday. PHOTO: supplied

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AT LEAST one person is confirmed to have been injured in a war between two ANC factions in Ashdown after she was stabbed at the party’s conference to elect a candidate for the upcoming municipal elections.

Nomusa Dlamini was allegedly attacked by three man after a disrupted meeting on Sunday as tempers flared when members failed to agree on the person to be elected as the candidate to be fielded by the Ward 23 ANC committee to contest in the local government elections this year.

Although the police were only aware of one incident when contacted by Echo, other reports of assault at the same meeting were received by the newspaper.

One of the factions rejected about 350 people who had applied for membership because they knew accepting them would lead to their defeat during the candidate election.

They said that since last year, the waiting time for membership has been changed from three months to six months, but even with the extension, the administration still struggles to meet deadlines.

Certain people had their membership approved even though their waiting time was shorter, much to the annoyance of those still waiting.

“With the current unemployment rate among the youth, I don’t think it’s fair to elect pensioners as they benefit from the government, and often their families as well.

“People should also not be elected if they already have another means of income. For example­, a teacher should not be permitted to be a councillor,” said one source.

Sbonelo Gwala, an angry member of the party, accused the local councillor, who wants to be re-elected, saying that if councillors are found to be instigators of such crime, their membership should be revoked.

Gwala said he was stabbed in the arm while those he was with, Mabongi Nkabinde and Mzokhona­ Mkhize, were hacked in the head and stabbed 12 times, respectively.

The last meeting fared no better, instead it fuelled­ violence on a larger scale.

Following yet another “mild discussion”, a group of allegedly known troublemakers in the community appeared with knives and other weapons and attacked those who are against the current committee, according to members. Sources suspect these people were paid by the committee to intimidate their opposition.

Gwala says that his nephew was manhandled by some of the supposedly paid agitators and when he attempted to put an end to the altercation, he was stabbed. When he called the police for assistance when the exchange was “tame”, he was told by an officer­, “We’ll talk later.” Some of the community members have opened cases regarding the matter.

Ward 23 Councillor Dumisani Phungula could not be reached for comment at the time of going to print.

Confirming Dlamini’s incident police spokesperson Captain Musa Ntombela said police are looking for three suspects on charges of attempered murder and intimidation after a woman was attacked with bush knives, sticks and knives.

“At an ANC election meeting at Ashdown hall at about 4pm, tension flared between two sides contesting for a councillor candidate, and the meeting was disrupted.

“The conflict led to people leaving the meeting venue. As one woman was on her way out, she was stopped at the gate by some young men who told her that the person she wanted to be a councillor will never succeed,” said Ntombela.

Ntombela said they also allegedly threatened to deal with the opposing candidate and “finish him off” if he did not withdraw from the nomination race.

Amid the commotion, three young men later reportedly wanted to beat up Dlamini’s sister. Dlamini then rushed to intervene and was allegedly assaulted by the three.

The jostling and fighting for positions in the ANC and tripartite alliance has become rife.

Two weeks ago two people were shot and killed at a meeting of the South African Communist Party (SACP) in Inchanga.

It is reported that the SACP called a community meeting in order to nominate its candidate after members were prevented from participating in the ANC nomination process.

A similar incident has also been reported on in Msunduzi’s ward 35 following a dispute over candidates during a meeting in Sobantu.

Confirming Dlamini’s incident police spokesperson Captain Musa Ntombela said police are looking for three suspects on charges of attempered murder and intimidation after a woman was attacked with bush knives, sticks and knives.

“At an ANC election meeting at Ashdown hall at about 4pm, tension flared between two sides contesting for a councillor candidate, and the meeting was disrupted.

“The conflict led to people leaving the meeting venue. As one woman was on her way out, she was stopped at the gate by some young men who told her that the person she wanted to be a councillor will never succeed,” said Ntombela.

Ntombela said they also allegedly threatened to deal with the opposing candidate and “finish him off” if he did not withdraw from the nomination race.

Amid the commotion, three young men later reportedly wanted to beat up Dlamini’s sister. Dlamini then rushed to intervene and was allegedly assaulted by the three.

The jostling and fighting for positions in the ANC and tripartite alliance has become rife.

Two weeks ago two people were shot and killed at a meeting of the South African Communist Party (SACP) in Inchanga.

It is reported that the SACP called a community meeting in order to nominate its candidate after members were prevented from participating in the ANC nomination process.

A similar incident has also been reported on in Msunduzi’s ward 35 following a dispute over candidates during a meeting in Sobantu.

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