ANC branch leaders face intimidation charge

EIGHT executive members of the ANC's RR Ngobeni branch in Malamulele, Mpumalanga, are facing a charge of intimidation.

They are chairperson Hudson Makambeni, councillor Thomas Maluleke, his wife Khensani Maluleke, Joyce Chauke, Audius Baloyi, Duncan Hlatshwayo, Robert Mphaphuli and Marlene Makhubele.

Their court appearance follows a series of incidents at Jilongo High School when RR Ngobeni branch secretary Gail Khosa was allegedly intimidated.

The intimidation allegedly stems from a misunderstanding over party membership lists. Khosa allegedly did not allow the branch executive committee to verify the names of members on the list before a branch general meeting could take place.

Khosa allegedly took the list - with the names of members of the branch who are eligible to take part in an upcoming regional conference - and ran to Thulamela municipality speaker Faith Chauke's car. It is alleged the two wanted to tamper with the document.

Chauke, who is accused of causing divisions within the branch, was not deployed to the meeting but is believed to have used Khosa to make sure the branch supported Moses Tseli, a councillor at Vhembe district municipality.

Chauke allegedly wants Tseli to become chairperson after the regional conference to be held from October 9.

The regional deployees postponed the meeting to tomorrow and ordered that since members said the document in Khosa's possession was not accepted by the membership as a true reflection of the membership, a task team should take it to the regional office in Thohoyandou for verification.

The eight were released on warning and the case was postponed to October 21 pending further investigations.