Cope cries foul over 'ANC attack'

THE Congress of the People yesterday lashed out at the ANC, claiming its branch leaders in Clermont were chased out of their homes by the ruling party's supporters.

Cope members were allegedly forced to sleep at the local police station on Sunday night.

The party now wants a special task team established to investigate the causes of violence. They also want the deployment of full-time security personnel in the area.

Cope provincial secretary Phillip Mhlongo claimed their members were attacked by heavily armed ANC members in full view of the police.

He said the incident followed that of a fortnight ago when their members were attacked with spears and pangas.

Cope branch chairperson Zoleka Gumbi said she and branch secretary Nonzuzo Hlongwane were forced to sleep at the police station after the attack.

Gumbi said police begged them to go to the local station. "But when we arrived at the station, they could not help us open cases, and we eventually slept at the police station," she said.

ANC provincial secretary Sihle Zikalala said: "Cope must open cases with the police. As the ANC, we never sent anyone to intimidate or harass them."