ANC takes action against gunmanComment on this story
Johannesburg - Disciplinary action will be taken against ANC member Nelson Mdayi - identified as the man wielding a gun in newspaper pictures of clashes in Bekkersdal, the party said on Monday.
“The ANC will institute disciplinary action against Mdayi for bringing the organisation into disrepute by carrying a firearm whilst on a campaign trail,” said ANC Gauteng spokesman Nkenke Kekana.
“His action has undermined the ANC's integrity and [its] public image. The ANC does not approve the use of weapons during election campaign activities from its members or from any political party, as this can only serve to intimidate or escalate tensions unnecessarily.”
The party's provincial integrity committee would look into the matter. Mdayi is also a government employee and a resident in Bekkersdal.
The City Press on Sunday reported that he was employed by the Westonaria municipality.
On Thursday, an ANC delegation visiting Bekkersdal, west of Johannesburg, were pelted with stones during a door-to-door campaign ahead of the May 7 general election.
The delegation included Eric Xayiya, Ntombi Mekgwe, and Brian Hlongwa.
Thabang Wesi, leader of the Concerned Residents of Bekkersdal, said residents saw ANC “bodyguards” with weapons in the township shooting at unarmed people, mainly school pupils.
The Star on Friday reported that ANC “bodyguards” fired live ammunition at residents after disrupting schooling.
The Citizen newspaper carried pictures of the episode. One was of Mdayi wearing an ANC bib with a gun behind his back.
Police spokesman Lt-Col Lungelo Dlamini told the newspaper the case was outside the jurisdiction of the police.
He could not be reached for comment on Monday.
Kekana called on the police to investigate whether Mdayi's gun was licensed.
He said ANC officials were in touch with community members of Bekkersdal to address their concerns.
“We want to work the community... to resolve election campaign issues and related matters, so that all voters, no matter which party they will choose to vote for, can go to the polls in peace and without fear,” he said.
“It is unacceptable that schooling should be disrupted, and that legitimate public representatives be barred from doing their work.”
He said an investigation into the matter was also being carried out by the government.
“We will not accept any violence or acts of intimidation from any of our members and we will therefore investigate any wrongful action or intent.”
He urged ANC members to adhere to the Constitution.
“We encourage all of our volunteers to adhere to the election code of conduct in all their door-to-door and on-the-ground efforts.”