The ANC in Mpumalanga has denied that premier David Mabuza hired people to disrupt an SACP memorial lecture at the weekend.
The party said that it would investigate and charge those who stopped the lecture in Kanyamazane yesterday. It was in honour of late SA Communist Party leader Joe Slovo and slain Speaker of the Mbombela local municipality, Jimmy Mohlala.
Former African National Congress treasurer general Mathews Phosa and SACP provincial secretary Bonakele Majuba were meant to speak at the event.
Violence broke out when people wearing ANC T-shirts arrived at the hall singing songs expressing opposition to Mabuza. They flipped over tables and chairs and chased everyone out.
“We want to say that we will investigate the matter,” said ANC provincial spokesperson Sibusiso Themba.
“The allegations that the provincial chairperson [Mabuza] hired people to stop the memorial lecture are untrue and the chairperson is always sober; he cannot do such a thing.”
Today, the ANC’s national office condemned the violence.
“We condemn in the strongest possible terms the actions carried out in the name of our organisation and distance the ANC from such hooliganism and intolerance.
“There can be no justification for the behaviour displayed and the ANC will leave no stone unturned in the quest to get to the bottom of this matter and discipline those who acted as ANC members in the execution of such dastardly acts,” it said.
The SACP in Mpumalanga questioned the ANC’s commitment to investigate.
“The provincial leadership of the ANC is not the right structure to investigate this matter. These people were fighting for the provincial chairperson of the ANC,” said SACP secretary for the Phillip Radebe district, Bhobert Nkosi.
The national SACP today said there was rich history between itself and the ANC.
“It is our view that no member of the ANC or its leagues should ever behave in the manner in which those hooligans did yesterday and as such those identified in the footage and by our district leaders should be dealt with accordingly by structures of the ANC,” it said.
“We call upon all our structures to remain calm and give us a few days to engage with the national leadership of the ANC.”