cops open fire on rowdy anc crowd

Sowetan Reporter

Sowetan Reporter

Tensions within the North West ANC played themselves out when police had to fire rubber bullets into a crowd of the ruling party's members who were trying to force their way into a conference at Sun City.

Superintendent Louis Jacobs said about 40 people had to be removed from the resort on Sunday night for trespassing.

"A group of delegates forced their way into the meeting, [but] they were not accredited."

The group was dispersed but about 100 people gathered again at the entrance yesterday.

"They forced [their way] through the first line of security and moved towards the police who had formed the second line. They started pelting the police with stones."

He said no injuries to individuals in the crowd had been reported.

It was alleged that two security guards had been assaulted.

Six people - five women and a man - were arrested and police were investigating a case of public violence against them.

"It has calmed down a bit, but we are still on the scene monitoring the situation," Jacobs said.

ANC spokesman Jessie Duarte said no violence had been reported but confirmed that a small group of protesters had gathered at the resort, insisting on entry to the party's provincial conference.

"The group was rowdy but there was no violence, that is our understanding," she said.

The party would comment on the conference and the protest after the election results for the provincial executive council had emerged, Duarte said.

However, a leader of the disgruntled group, Kenny Morolong, was quoted as accusing ANC provincial leader Super Mahumapelo of allowing members who were not from branches to participate in the conference.

The conference comes amid tensions in most ANC provinces where supporters of the party's new leadership are seen to be running a gauntlet against supporters of former ANC president Thabo Mbeki. North West Premier Edna Molewa is one such target.

The conference ends today.