As factional battles within the ANC Moses Mabhida region intensify ahead of the party’s regional elective conference, fearful party members have spoken about assassination attempts and intimidation.
By Tuesday afternoon, police were continuing with investigations into the circumstances that led to two people being shot at the home of an ANC eMkhambathini Municipality councillor. Even though the councillor, Mzwandile Shandu, was not at his eNgilanyoni home in eMkhambathini when the shooting happened, sources within the ANC in the region were adamant that he was the target.
“It is a known fact that there are some ANC comrades in his wards who don’t want him to be re-elected as branch secretary. There is no doubt that the gunmen thought that he was at home when they pounced,” a source said.
One of the people who was shot at the home died while the other is receiving treatment in hospital after sustaining gunshot wounds.
The shooting took place a day before the branch’s elective meeting where Shandu was scheduled to stand for the position of branch secretary.
Shandu said he did not rule out the possibility that the shooting was linked to ANC internal politics. “I don’t have all the information, and as such, it is difficult for me to say what the motive was. All I can say at the moment is that I’m taking each day at a time.
“Each time I go to bed I’m not certain if I will wake up alive,” he said.
The ANC in the region is currently holding branch general meetings (BGMs) to elect new branch leaders and nominate candidates who will contest for leadership positions at the party’s upcoming regional conference scheduled to take place during the course of the month.
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ANC nomination processes in the region had previously been accompanied by violence as factions vying for the control of the region clash.
Elsewhere in the region, ANC members attending BGMs have claimed that members of the Mkhonto weSizwe Military Veterans Association (MKMVA) were being used to intimidate members of rival factions.
A prominent ANC figure in the Pietermaritzburg CBD accused an ANC branch chairperson who is also a senior MKMVA member, of bringing “heavily armed people” to BGMs.
“He would stand outside the venue where the BGM is being held and instruct branch members on how they should vote.
“When our BGM sat last weekend he came and told us that his faction has already won the conference and that voting for people in other factions would just be a waste of time,” the source said.
Approached for comment, the MKMVA leader, while conceding that he has been visiting BGMs around the region, denied intimidating people. “Yes, I’m a former soldier but at the end of the day I’m also a member of the ANC. Just like anyone else I have the right to lobby ANC members. I’m not the only ANC member who goes to BGMs to lobby. I don’t understand why I’m being singled out.
“It is a complete lie that I travel with an armed gang. I don’t even carry a gun when I go to ANC meetings. In any case, ANC regulations don’t allow that,” he said.
In April, Msunduzi ANC councillor Sbusiso Mtshali was stabbed by unknown people while in his vehicle in the Pietermaritzburg CBD.
A few weeks earlier, ANC uMshwati Municipality councillor, Thembelihle Dlame, was brutally attacked with bush knives while at her home in kwaSwayimane near Wartburg.
ANC Moses Mabhida regional task team (RTT) co-ordinator, Mandla Zondi, said the party had no evidence proving that the attacks on the ANC councillors in the region were politically motivated. “Unfortunately, it’s only the law enforcement agencies which can investigate and tell us whether the attacks were linked to ANC internal politics.
While Zondi conceded there were at times tensions during ANC BGMs, he denied that the tensions have escalated in recent weeks.