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Johannesburg - Tension and political intolerance between Agang SA and ANC members have been blamed for the brutal attack on a Limpopo ANC councillor at the weekend.
Unknown men assaulted Polokwane councillor Lesetja Legodi with iron rods before stabbing him in the head at his Solomondale village outside Polokwane.
Legodi, who confirmed the incident, was ambushed while walking home from a night vigil on Saturday.
The attack has sparked accusations and counter-accusations of assassination plots implicating himself, Agang volunteer Mphezulu Maphanga and ANC member Jackson Nkoana.
Local ANC and Agang activists have blamed each other for the incident.
The attack on Legodi took place weeks after Agang and ANC supporters violently clashed at Mozombane village near Mokopane during a political meeting ahead of next year’s general election.
Police later arrested three Agang members who accused ANC supporters of provoking them.
Legodi hasn’t reported the “life-threatening attack” to the police. He claims the Sebayeng police had previously said he was a coward when he reported death threats.
Thabo Leshilo, spokesman for Agang SA, urged Legodi to lay a criminal charge.
“It is just unfortunate that our name is being dragged (into it), even without evidence,” said Leshilo.
Maphanga, a former ANC and DA member who recently joined Mamphela Ramphele’s party, on Monday told The Star he had confronted Legodi “to set the record straight” about the attack.
This was after he had heard rumours he was a suspect.
“I told him and his family that I have nothing to do with his attack,” said Maphanga, who added it was his life that was under threat.
Legodi said he was surprised that Maphanga came to his home on Sunday with municipal officials.
“He (Maphanga) previously said in a community meeting that I was plotting to assassinate him,” said Legodi.
But Maphanga denied this. “I didn’t say it was him. I only said my life was under threat,” he said.
Maphanga and Nkoana are leaders of a concerned residents’ group that Legodi claims is instigating a community uprising against him.
Legodi denied claims that he refused to meet residents to explain service delivery problems, including a road that has not been tarred.
He accused Maphanga of being an “outsider”, questioning his involvement in his community’s affairs. “He doesn’t even come from my community, he is from Phalaborwa,” said Legodi.
Maphanga said he stayed with his partner at Solomondale.
Acts of political intolerance, intimidation and threats seem to go beyond ANC and Agang members.
Legodi on Monday also pointed fingers at Nkoana, his fellow ANC cadre.
“Jackson Nkoana, an ANC member, and I can’t even call him a comrade, has publicly said he would be on my neck until I resigned as (Cassel) Mathale did,” said Legodi.
Mathale resigned as Limpopo premier last month after an instruction from the ANC. This came after his ANC faction failed to topple President Jacob Zuma in Mangaung.
Nkoana said he was shocked by Legodi’s accusations.
He confirmed that he often led service delivery protests, but denied plotting to topple Legodi.
“At no stage did I threaten him. In fact he has my support; even recently he even borrowed money from me,” said Nkoana.