Pretoria - Tension before the Tshwane ANC regional conference is heating up with two people stabbed and wounded at a meeting in Mamelodi.
On Wednesday, a branch general meeting (BGM) in Mamelodi’s ward 16 turned violent and two people ended up in hospital after being stabbed.
According to an insider, the meeting was called by the interim structure said to be aligned with the current chairman of the Tshwane region, mayor Kgosientso Ramokgopa. “The structure did not invite all branch members to the meeting. When the members that are not aligned to the chairperson found out about the meeting they went there and that’s when the fracas started,” he said.
Branches are meeting before regional elections to be held later in the year when Ramokgopa is expected to stand for a third term as chairman.
Mamelodi police spokesman Captain Johannes Maheso confirmed the incident and said a 30-year-old man was expected to appear in the Mamelodi Magistrate’s Court on Friday on charges of assault with intent to do grievous bodily harm.
The Mamelodi and Soshanguve constituencies are the most important for anyone who wants to lead the Tshwane region, according to sources in the party.
In ward 67, also in Mamelodi, chaos erupted when members invited to a pre-BGM arrived to find that it was a BGM. The meeting was meant to map the way before the BGM and it did not go ahead.
Over the weekend, there were misunderstandings in two wards in Atteridgeville where members said they were not invited to the BGM.
At the beginning of the month, two people were stabbed and injured after a fight broke out because of unhappiness over the preparations for the regional conference, particularly the verification of members. It was claimed that regional deputy chairman Mapiti Matsena wanted to run against Ramokgopa at the regional conference whose date is still to be announced. Matsena has since denied the allegations and said he is running the campaign for Ramokgopa’s re-election.
Regional secretary Paul Mojapelo said he did not receive any reports of the fights.
“There was an audit team from national that audited all branch members. That process has been finalised and all members in good standing receive SMSes when there is going to be a meeting,” he said.
He said the branch secretary did not report the problems to him. “I am worried about who is giving you the information. They want you to think that there are problems in the ANC and it is not so,” Mojapelo said.
As a result of tension in the region, members will march to the ANC headquarters in Joburg on Friday morning.