Cape Town - Rivalry between political parties got physical on Saturday: a DA councillor alleged she was attacked by ANC officials outside a voting station, while the officials insist she assaulted them.
A group of ANC campaign officials allegedly “handled” DA councillor Vuyokazi Matanzima outside the Ark Educare Centre voting station in Enkanini, Khayelitsha. She has laid charges at the Harare police station.
But ANC spokesman Cobus Grobler said two ANC campaigners laid counter-charges of assault against Matanzima, who said she had fought back. “There were long queues, people were getting a bit hot under the collar, I assume,” Grobler said.
DA leader for the constituency Masizole Mnqasela said: “The ANC in this province have become so desperate that they have few tactics other than violence. Saturday’s incident has proved they will go so far as to assault a woman.”
However, Mnqasela later met ANC representatives Nomaindia Mfeketo and Pamela Tshwete to talk about the incident. DA and ANC campaign parties were urged by their respective leaders to remain peaceful and not to intimidate voters or opposition party members.
Matanzima sustained mild scratches and bruises from the confrontation, which she said began as she went inside the voting station to speak to another DA member in the queue.
“ANC activists came inside and confronted me. I felt humiliated. It was a disaster.”
An IEC official intervened, moving the altercation outside.
“When I went outside, towards the gate, all the ANC activists were standing there saying I can’t leave until I explain myself. When I started stepping out of the gate, that’s when they handled me. I was not scared. I fought back.”
Matanzima, one of the founding members of the DA’s Khayelitsha branch in 2001, said attitudes towards the DA had changed since then, and she was no longer ostracised for her political affiliation.
“At first it was taboo to see a person wearing a DA T-shirt. But as time went by and the DA took power, people started to see how the DA works. Now people respect me and consult me.”