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TEMPERS flared during an ANC meeting in the Molemole sub-region when members squared up over who should lead the Capricorn district after the coming regional conference.
The district is scheduled to hold its elective conference in the next few weeks.
At the centre of the row are allegations that the interim sub-regional leadership was in favour of Lawrence Mapoulo to lead the district, while the majority of branches in the area favoured former roads and transport MEC Stan Motimele.
Mapoulo was mayor of Polokwane during the transitional period.
The meeting took place at Laërskool Mogwadi on Saturday. Police had to be called in to defuse the tensions.
A source said the stand-off came about when the interim sub-regional leadership wanted to impose its decision without consulting the branches.
He said branch leaders stood up against the idea of nominating Mapoulo, saying they would rather have Motimele as their leader since he had more credibility.
The branches also accused the interim leadership of being dictators and claimed they were financed to push their own agenda.
A source said the ANC's tradition was that branches should be consulted on any decision that would bind them.
He said the branches ultimately told the sub-regional leadership to leave.
"We were surprised to see the arrival of the police. But because we had a case we continued with the meeting despite the police presence," he said.
ANC provincial spokesperson Ishmael Kgetjepe could not be reached for comment yesterday .