ANC members in fisticuffs
THE Adelaide Tambo ANC branch general meeting in Olievenhout, Tshwane, turned violent when members supporting the re-election of Jacob Zuma as ANC president and those wanting a leadership change in Mangaung exchanged blows last Sunday.
The meeting was also disrupted and members dispersed without nominating their preferred candidate as the violence spiralled out of control.
Zuma wants a second term while his deputy, Kgalema Motlanthe, is said to be girding his loins to challenge him.
Sunday World was also reliably informed that members almost clashed again at a meeting at the local community centre last Monday to prepare for today's meeting to be held at the township's Extension 4 Park. This after members accused branch leaders of trying to impose candidates on them.
The two incidents sparked consternation among branch members, with some calling for the NEC and PEC to beef up security at today's meeting.
A branch member says pandemonium broke out when some branch members started singing pro-Motlanthe songs while making change signs and others chanted pro-Zuma slogans while making second term signs.
It is alleged that the majority chanted pro-Motlanthe slogans while a few sang pro-Zuma songs. This incensed the latter, who reacted with violence.
It is alleged that they started exchanging blows with their rivals in the presence of branch leaders and regional executive committee (REC) member George Matjila, who was deployed there to oversee the nomination.
"We ended up dispersing without nominating. Our branch consists of 1200 members, so we were about 520 and we needed a few more to proceed with the nomination.
ANC branch chairperson Khakha Mokoena confirms their meeting degenerated into an ugly affair.
Mokoena says the majority want Zuma to retain his position in Mangaung.
"The majority of people here want Zuma and those wanting Motlanthe started to misbehave, that is why they were beaten up.
"But we have written a letter to the NEC and PEC requesting them to beef up security as we are meeting this Sunday," he says.
Meanwhile, The Star reported that a gang believed to be members of the Umkhonto weSizwe Military Veterans Association (MKMVA) stormed into an ANC meeting last week Saturday in Ekurhuleni and threatened to shoot those who don't support Zuma's second term.
It also reported that Mpumalanga ANC leader Joe Ndimande's home was petrol-bombed after he openly campaigned for leadership change in Mangaung.
Gauteng ANC provincial spokesman Dumisa Ntuli confirms that they have received a complaint from the branch.
"Though we cannot send the police, we will deploy good comrades there to take care of the situation."