- ANC branch general meetings have ground to a halt after violence broke out at several gatherings
- Clashes over nominations for provincial leaders have been the root cause of the chaos
- The violence has claimed the lives of two party members in the region
The ANC in Mpumalanga has suspended branch general meetings after the death of two party members.
SowetanLIVE reports that numerous meetings descended into violence as members clashed over nominations for provincial leaders for the elective conference set to take place in April.
Premier Refilwe Mtshweni-Tsipane and provincial chairperson Mandla Ndlovu are both eyeing the chairmanship post.
The position was vacated by deputy president David Mabuza when he was awarded the post three years ago.
Attempts to host a provincial general council to replace Mabuza and his deputy chairperson, Violet Siwela, have failed repeatedly.
In KaBokweni, Ward 32, an ANC member was shot in the leg two weeks ago when party members disrupted a meeting. Another man was beaten to death in the same ward.
In Ermelo, another member was beaten to death with gunshots also fired at a branch meeting in Bushbuckridge.
ANC member Collen Magagula was allegedly stabbed by a ward councillor, Veli Mabuza, with the latter released on warning by the Nkomazi Magistrate's Court and facing charges of assault.
Acting provincial secretary of the ANC, Lindiwe Ntshalintshali, commented that meetings were usually peaceful:
"Under ordinary circumstances, this process is expected to run smoothly with tolerance for different views, however, the ANC has learnt with deep regret that some of the members who participate in these democratic processes have intentions that are beyond what is expected."
She expressed sadness over the increase in violence seen in recent days, commenting:
"Since [the meetings] started, we have noted a number of cases reported for intimidation and assault and this has caused us great concern. The ANC is saddened by the recent violent incidences during these gatherings which resulted in the death of its members."
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