FORMER ANC chairman Mosiuoa Lekota, pictured, has accused the ANC leadership of running out of political arguments to challenge his initiative of forming a new party.
"They do this name-calling because they have run out of ideas," Lekota told Sowetan on Saturday.
He was responding to the ANC leadership and its supporters who have called the Lekota faction "dogs" and "the Black DA".
"All the people who are giving away their cards at our gathering are not from the DA, they are unhappy ANC members", said Lekota.
Lekota also addressed a crowd of about 3000 suporters at the Galeshewe Arena on Saturday as part of his campaign to garner support for the national convention set to be held between November 1 and 2 in Bloemfontein.
The focus of the convention is to come up with a constitution, emblem and name for the new political party that will be launched in December.
Lekota said the ANC had become "something else from what we knew. This is not what we struggled for."
He accused the new leadership of hounding out of the party those who happened to hold different views and those who did not support the new leadership under Jacob Zuma.
Also speaking at the gathering, former Cosatu president Willie Madisha accused the ANC leadership of using vulgar language to suppress dissent.
"When all the people gathered here say there is something wrong within the party - some people at ANC headquarters say there are dogs", Madisha told the cheering crowd.
The newly resigned ANC national executive member Charlotte Lobe said the ANC leadership had failed in its mandate of uniting South Africans as it had become intolerant.
"When we left the ANC they said to us it is cold out. It has been very cold in the ANC and for the first time it has been very warm outside the ANC," she said.
Meanwhile, a former ANC organiser in the Free State who is currently a regional chairman of the Independent Democrats in the area, told Sowetan he would be deilvering some of his constuencies into Lekota's fold.
Karel Pretorius, who is also an ID councillor in the Sol Plaatjie municipality, said he would deliver 12 wards to the Shikota initiative.
Seven of these would be from the Pokwane municipality, with the other five coming from the Warrington municipality, he said.
Insiders also revealed that Lekota held discussions with other leaders from the ID and DA, who have indicated their willingness to cross over.
Over the weekend police had to intervene in several incidents in which Zuma supporters in the ANC attempted to disrupt meetings held by Lekota supporters.
In Kimberley, police intervention prevented what could have become a violent confrontation between Lekota and Zuma supporters, when Zuma supporters marched on to the venue where Lekota was to address his supporters.
Meanwhile, Chester Makana reported on Saturday that in Tshilidzini near Thohoyandou a group of Zuma supporters disrupted a meeting held by Lekota supporters. The group, wearing yellow T-shirts adorned with Zuma's face, entered the hall shouting "Away with Terror Lekota and forward with Zuma". They climbed on to the stage where provincial national convention leader Solly Mkhatshwa was addressing convention supporters. Police were called in to defuse the situation, as the newcomers sang in protest of the convention.