anc REGION in broedertwis

TENSION within the ANC in Gauteng is said to have turned ugly, with some party members allegedly being targeted for supporting the party's provincial chairperson Paul Mashatile.

The party is expected to hold a series of regional conferences early next month to nominate candidates for the party's provincial leadership.

The congresses will define who between Mashatile, Premier Nomvula Mokonyane and ANC Women's League president Angie Motshekga becomes chairperson.

Mashatile's supporters feel his appointment as Deputy Minister of Arts and Culture amounted to a demotion and an attempt to demobilise his Gauteng power base. They still want him to be both chairperson and premier of the province.

On Sunday, in what is believed to be an onslaught against Mashatile supporters, four armed thugs attacked Gauteng ANC Youth League secretary Thabo Kupa, ANC Mahlabandlovu branch chairperson in Pretoria David Mahlobo and two other party members after a branch general meeting.

Sowetan has established that some members in the Mahlabandlovu branch meeting canvassed support for Mashatile. Kupa said the attackers told them they had been monitoring their activities "for a while".

"After the meeting, we went to the home of the branch chairperson who lives close to the Union Buildings. Four heavily armed thugs entered the house and ordered us to lie on the floor. They took all the paperwork used during the meeting, cellphones and laptops. They also took a Mercedes Benz parked in the driveway."

ANC spokesperson Nkenke Kekana said the ANC had "no reason to suspect" there was a political motive in the criminal attacks on its members.