taverner upset by activists

Alex Matlala

Alex Matlala

An ANC official in Limpopo at the weekend was forced to deal with an "unruly riffraff" who he said were intimidating his customers.

The situation turned nasty at Humprey Mokgobi's Thlabine village restaurant after the youths arrived. Mokgobi said they distributed pamphlets calling on diners "to boycott his businesses" because he was not giving them jobs.

Mokgobi, the regional chairman in Mopani, said they were "disaffected members of the Congress of the People" who were trying to woo voters from the ANC.

The war of words almost degenerated into a slugfest when their insults attracted the attention of beer-quaffing revellers and passers-by.

Mokgobi instructed his security guards to throw the youngsters out .

An eyewitness, who wants to remain anonymous, has supported the angry publican.

"Mokgobi was provoked. For example, I'm a PAC member and nobody can come to my house and start campaigning for the ANC. This is utter provocation and a clear sign of disrespect."

But Cope Thlabine branch chairman Mapono Mathole said Mokgobi had no right to chase them away "like dogs" because they had only been engaged in a political discussion "as happens in any tavern".

"This is a democracy. We are free to fish or campaign from any pond of our choice," he said.

Mokgobi was unapologetic.

"I have no problem with people drinking at my business but I have a problem with those who use my business as a hatching ground for insulting and intimidating others," he said.