EFF deserved the beating, says ANC

UNDAUNTED: EFF members promise to continue wearing the party regalia in public places despite the attack on party members in the West Rand at the weekend Photo: SHELLEY CHRISTIANS
UNDAUNTED: EFF members promise to continue wearing the party regalia in public places despite the attack on party members in the West Rand at the weekend Photo: SHELLEY CHRISTIANS

EFF members, including a pregnant woman, were hunted down and beaten at the weeked allegedly by ANC members for "troubling the ruling party in parliament".

But a senior ANC Gauteng leader has appeared to condone the attack despite saying the party does not encourage intolerance but believes in free political activity.

An EFF member gave Sowetan a chilling account of the attack and explained how she escaped as her comrades were attacked in Mogale City, west of Joburg, on Sunday.

Told of the violence, ANC Gauteng spokesman Nkenke Kekana said the EFF brought the attacks on itself. "We can't have a political party encouraging lawlessness and expect the community to be quiet.

"The EFF have made it impossible for communities to tolerate their behaviour," Kekana said.

The EFF member, who identified herself as "Minkie" said she and her party mates had just returned from a campaign drive in Smoke Down informal settlement when people dressed in ANC regalia chased them out of a meeting venue.

"We were there singing and dancing and ANC members in T-shirts came in and told [us] we were not allowed there [and] we must leave. They said the EFF was troubling the executive," she said.

"As we were leaving, they started chasing and throwing stones at us. We ran, got into a car but the car got stuck in a ditch. I got away and watched in horror as the four people who couldn't escape got badly assaulted."

The attack landed pregnant EFF ward committee member Patricia Tau, father and daughter Peter and Mpho Mabote in hospital.

Mabote fractured his ribs after he was kicked and had stones and a hoe handle thrown at him.

"They then told Mpho to take her father and leave," said the survivor of what has been described as a brutal attack in which some community members took part in.

Tau is said to have bled extensively after she too was kicked despite her pregnancy.

Yesterday, they filed criminal cases against some of the ANC members who attacked them.

Utterances by National Assembly speaker Baleka Mbete made a day before the attack have been blamed for the bloodshed.

Mbete, who is also the ANC chairwoman, told delegates at an elective conference in North West they must work on defeating "EFF cockroaches".

nhlabathih@sowetan.co.za

 

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