ANC REJECTS CLAIMS OF THIRD FORCE IN DELIVERY PROTESTS

THE ANC in Mpumalanga is neither probing nor believes allegations that a third force within the party was responsible for the recent service delivery protests in various municipalities.

THE ANC in Mpumalanga is neither probing nor believes allegations that a third force within the party was responsible for the recent service delivery protests in various municipalities.

Lucky Ndinisa, the provincial ANC secretary, confirmed during a press briefing by the ANC, SACP and Cosatu that "we heard about the alleged presence of a third force".

"We have not conducted investigations so far, but we cannot deny or confirm the presence of a third force responsible for the municipal chaos," said Ndinisa.

He was responding to a media question suggesting that allegations were rife that members who supported former president Thabo Mbeki during the ANC's 52nd conference were behind the havoc in the province.

Cosatu provincial secretary Fidel Mlombo, ANC provincial spokesperson Paul Mbenyane and SACP provincial secretary Bonakele Majuba also attended yesterday's press conference.

They told the media that the alliance "was strong on the ground".

"We are very united as an alliance and we have already had several meetings during which we addressed a number of issues," said Majuba.

Communities in the municipalities of Thaba Chweu, Mkhondo and others went on the rampage in the past two weeks, destroying buildings and torching vehicles during the recent service delivery protests.

This has left at least three people dead after they were allegedly shot by police, who have come under attack for allegedly using live ammunition to disperse the angry crowds.

Meanwhile, the Minister of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs Sicelo Shiceka and a team from national government met with MEC Norman Mokoena in Nelspruit yesterday.

"The aim of the visit is to present an interim report by the ministerial task team investigating the service delivery protests," said Mokoena's spokesperson, Simpiwe Kunene.

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