ANC meeting ends in violence

ancA meeting of the ANC’s biggest branch in the Western Cape erupted in chaos this weekend when some of its members attacked others with knobkieries and pangas.

Four of the party’s members were rushed to a nearby hospital with head and back injuries.

The branch in Ward 40 Gugulethu met on Saturday evening in a rush to meet the deadline of nominating who should represent the party in next year’s provincial and national elections. The branch has 1 496 members and is expected to send 19 delegates to the list conference.

This represents nearly four percent of the 480 delegates at the party’s provincial list conference on October 19. This is the branch in which former ANC councillor Andile Lili and Loyiso Nkohla have large support and which ANC MPL Mcebisi Skwatsha belongs to.

Skwatsha was at the national executive committee meeting in Johannesburg at the weekend.

Other ANC heavyweights from the branch are Parliament’s Deputy Speaker Nomaindia Mfeketo and former chief whip Tony Yengeni.

Dullah Omar regional secretary Vuyiso Tyhalisisu said it was dark when the attack took place at the Baptist Church Hall in Barcelona informal settlement, Gugulethu.

Some members were still busy with registration. The meeting did not quorate at that time,” he said.

Tyhalisisu said a group of 15 people on the back of a white bakkie stopped outside and walked to the hall.

“They had knobkieries and pangas and started attacking people. People ran in every direction,” Tyhalisisu said. “The meeting never started.”

He said some ANC members were identified among the group.

Tyhalisisu said four of its members suffered head and back injuries and were taken to the KTC Day Hospital.

“They were discharged after a few hours,” he said.

Tyhalisisu said the ANC’s regional executive council (REC) had received information that the group had been given alcohol at a nearby tavern before the meeting.

“It is a serious issue. Some of our members would be too scared in the future to come to meetings for fear this could happen to them,” he said.

He said the branch will call those members identified to a disciplinary hearing.

ANC provincial secretary Songezo Mjongile said the party’s provincial executive committee (PEC) met on Monday and discussed the attack. He condemned the attack and said the PEC will investigate.

Police spokesman Tembinkosi Kinana said police had been called to the church hall after the assault.

“The suspects who could not be identified at the time fled in a white bakkie.

“Police have opened a charge of intent to cause grievous bodily harm,” he said. – Cape Times