Bleak outlook for ANC

Frank Maponya

Frank Maponya

The battle for the succession of the ANC leadership, and ultimately of the country, is getting ugly in Limpopo.

This follows allegations that ANC meetings were disrupted by unruly elements in Botlokwa at the weekend.

It is believed that those who took part in the disruptions belonged to President Thabo Mbeki's camp. The incident allegedly took place on Sunday at Morebeng - formerly Soekmekaar - during the branch nominations.

According to Malusi Mohale, a member of the executive committee of the ANCYL in the province, a group of youths allegedly barred others, believed to belong to the Jacob Zuma camp, from taking part in the proceedings. The situation became ugly when those viewed as pro-Mbeki allegedly threatened their counterparts with violence if they insisted on attending the meeting.

"It was bad because the ANC does not advocate arrogance amongst its members, especially during such crucial meetings where issues of the organisation's leadership are discussed. All members have a right to participate," said Mohale, who is also spokesman for the provincial department of local government and housing.

He said they had gone to the area hoping to come up with a list of their preferred candidates, only to be disturbed by the ugly incident.

"We have also realised that the issue at hand is the alleged practices of corruption where councillors gave RDP houses to people who were not the intended beneficiaries. The councillors were actually not happy with our decision to reverse the situation, hence they ganged up with those youths to fight us," Mohale said.

According to him, councillors in the area were doing as they wished in terms of running the council, thereby disregarding the wishes of the communities.

Vusi Ramusi, an ANC constituency officer in the area, said they became annoyed because those who arrived to run branch nominations were "drunk" and encouraged the youths in the area to drink alcohol during the meeting.