ANC Eastern Cape leaders, NMB at odds

The ANC’s Eastern Cape leaders are at odds with the regional leaders of Nelson Mandela Bay after suspending branch general meetings in the Nelson Mandela Bay and Dr. WB Rubusana regions.

The party suspended BGMs after events of the past weekend in that region, such as the assassination of Nelson Mandela Bay ward 20 councillor Zwelandile Booi and the attempted murder of ward 42 branch leader Mazwi Mini.

Mini is recovering in hospital after he was shot on his lower jaw while watching TV at his home. He had received  threats at a fractious branch general meeting.

ANC provincial spokesperson Loyiso Magqashela said the party’s provincial working committee was currently conducting its own assessment on the safety of BGMs in the hopes of preventing further violence.

He said the barbaric acts of violence were not in line with the ANC traditions and values and  the party wanted law enforcement agencies to deal decisively with the perpetrators.

“We denounce in the strongest possible terms the incidences of violence that have been seen in some branch general meetings around Dr WB Rubusana and Nelson Mandela region. The PEC calls for the relevant structures to act decisively in those instances and take to task all those who have been identified as culprits.”

However, Nelson Mandela Bay regional secretary Luyolo Nqakula said the  BGMs in that region were  deliberately suspended because it had pronounced on Babalo Madikizela to replace provincial chairperson Oscar Mabuyane when the party elects new leaders next month.

“We don’t take the issue of criminality and violence lightly, especially when there’s been a loss of life and potential loss of life. But we do feel like a region that we are being targeted because of the posture and the preference we have pronounced on. We are being targeted because of the trends of the BGM outcomes. We are being targeted by the people who are deliberately disrupting BGMs who do not produce a certain outcome,” said Nqakula.

Early this month, Mabuyane was on the receiving end of violent conduct, allegedly perpetrated by supporters of arch-rival Madikizela and was forced to abandon January 8 celebrations in the  Dr WB Rubusana region after a group of party members arrived at the Orient Theatre where the event was held and started banging on the doors during his speech.

Addressing a Police and Prisons Civil Rights Union  conference on Wednesday, Mabuyane accused individuals who have intentions of looting the state of sponsoring and orchestrating the violence at ANC branch meetings.

Madikizela has distanced himself from acts of violence.

Attempts to get an official comment from the leadership of Dr. WB Rubusana were unsuccessful.

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Johnnie Isaac

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