Ndade Moletsane, who was allegedly assaulted by African Congress for Transformation (ACT) leader Ace Magashule and his bodyguards during a campaign on Saturday, says he is scared that local party members could retaliate against him. The 44-year-old Moletsane says he suffered blows to his upper body and his left eye when Magashule and his bodyguards attacked him in Meloding, Virginia. Watch: ACT supporters attack Moletsane https://twitter.com/GetrudeM/status/1749448763930734678 He said Magashule led the attack before his bodyguards and 'amadela kufa' followed suit. ACT supporters call themselves 'amadela kufa', meaning 'die-hards'. He said he was manhandled by Magashule before the politician's supporters got…
Ndade Moletsane, who was allegedly assaulted by African Congress for Transformation (ACT) leader Ace Magashule and his bodyguards during a campaign on Saturday, says he is scared that local party members could retaliate against him.
The 44-year-old Moletsane says he suffered blows to his upper body and his left eye when Magashule and his bodyguards attacked him in Meloding, Virginia.
Watch: ACT supporters attack Moletsane
He said Magashule led the attack before his bodyguards and ‘amadela kufa‘ followed suit. ACT supporters call themselves ‘amadela kufa’, meaning ‘die-hards’. He said he was manhandled by Magashule before the politician’s supporters got involved.
“My doctor says the beating and kicking I was subjected to almost affected my sight in my left eye. I have bruises on my face and body, I am still in pain,” Moletsane told The Citizen.
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The attack was caught on video.
Magashule took his campaign to Welkom and Virginia in the Lejweleputswa region on Saturday, accompanied by hundreds of his supporters.
Magashule ‘attacked me first’
Moletsane says he was walking on the side pavement as ACT members canvassed for support, handing out T-shirts.
“As I was walking near the chisanyama place, a T-shirt was thrown at me, and I threw it back to the bakkie where it came from. I wasn’t interested in getting their T-shirt, I was minding my own business and walking.
“It landed on Magashule’s head. I wasn’t even aware that he was part of the group,” he said.
According to Moletsane, Magashule then jumped off the vehicle towards him and raised his hand to slap his face.
“He asked me what the hell I was doing, pushing me while cursing at me.
“It was at that time that the beating began and I fell to the ground and tried to protect my body against them,” said Moletsane.
Virginia police spokesperson Captain Stephen Thakeng says a case of common assault against the ACT leader was opened at Meloding police station.
“We can confirm that on 20 January 2024 at about 19:30, the well-known politician and his entourage were distributing T-shirts of their organisation in Thabiso Makoko Street when one of the shirts landed on him.
“A 44-year-old Meloding man threw it back to them inside the car, and it covered the face of this well-known politician.
“Then the politician alighted the vehicle accompanied by his bodyguards to allegedly assault the complainant. He sustained injuries on his face,” Thakeng said in a statement.
Moletsane said he had become anxious after the assault.
“I fear that his supporters might come for me. I laid a case against him, they might find me and do something to me,” he said.
‘Most difficult elections since 1994’
With the formation of many more political parties than the country has ever seen and highly competitive elections in a few months, violence could rear its ugly head again as seen before the 1994 elections, said University of North West political analyst Professor André Duvenhage.
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According to Duvenhage, South Africa is entering one of the most difficult and violent elections since 1994.
He said South Africa’s society lives alongside violence, and violent confrontations such as the Magashule incident could become a headache for the Independent Electoral Commission of SA (IEC).
“We have at least 60 murders a day, sometimes the murder rate is so high that one would think there is a war happening.
“There’s currently a high level of conflict in our politics, and the intolerance and instability will increase as we head into the elections,” Duvenhage said.
Additionally, areas where ANC-breakaway parties such as ACT, EFF and MK party have intensified campaigns could experience violence, he added.
Magashule is the former secretary general of the ANC.
He founded ACT last year after the governing party expelled him in 2021 for bringing the party into disrepute.
He is out on R200 000 bail for alleged corruption in the Free State multi-million rand asbestos graft case.
After more than two years on the pre-trial roll, the corruption case was finally scheduled for trial from 15 April to 23 June 2024 in Bloemfontein.
Magashule has maintained his innocence over the corruption charges and claims that they are politically motivated.
Advocate Arthur Maisela says the incident might not affect Magashule’s bail unless there’s overwhelming evidence against him.
“It also depends on his bail conditions, but this [incident] may not affect it at all.
“The prosecutor can only apply to have his bail revoked if the reasons for doing so are based on credible evidence.”
Efforts to get hold of Magashule before publication were unsuccessful as his cellphone numbers went unanswered.
But his party told public broadcaster SABC that ACT would only comment after seeing the police complaint.
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