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Cape Town - A Facebook war has erupted among ANC supporters over the Western Cape ANC’s decision to temporarily suspend the ringleaders behind the Cape’s poo wars, sparking fears of renewed factionalism within the party’s ranks.
Some critics claim the suspensions may not have been procedural because the party’s provincial working committee did not have the power to suspend members, and could merely make recommendations.
The ANC announced this week that it had temporarily suspended seven members believed to be at the forefront of the faeces protests targeting Western Cape Premier Helen Zille and several provincial government buildings.
The announcement by ANC provincial secretary Songezo Mjongile sparked a vicious Facebook battle between those aligned to the protesters and those in support of the suspension. The exchanges have degenerated into expletive-filled fights on social media that have senior provincial party members worried.
A post by Chris Majola read: “Dit lyk of Songezo doen wat POPPY (Zille) gevra het. (It looks like Songezo is doing what poppy Zille is asking). It feels like the ANC is selling us out. Can’t you see the DA laugh at the ANC in Western Cape.”
Braam Hanekom questioned whether the suspensions were done correctly: “I wonder if the suspensions of ANC members allegedly involved in the sanitation protests were procedural, either way it’s a complicated situation and I am not sure this was a good move.”
Another Facebook user, Vanessa le Roux, posted: “Shame on us, shame on the ANC, we are letting our Cdres down, we are letting the poor masses down to keep Helen happy!! Sies, why don’t they just join the DA seeing that they see eye to eye with them on this serious matter?”
Niyaaz Hakim, Congress of South African Students national executive committee member, wrote: “I call for the committee to reverse its decision with immediate effect.”
He accused Mjongile of having a “factional tendency”.
Those in favour of the suspension posted: “I commend the decision to suspend these anarchists who are persistent at putting the good name of the movement into disrepute. Obviously due process, fair hearing must take place…” wrote Anele Mgubasi.
“While what they did is honourable, no honourable organisation would let such conduct go unpunished, all we can do is wish and lobby that they get the most minimum punishment that can be meted out,” Mswazi Makhubele posted.
Mjongile himself posted: “I was reflecting on political discipline and came across a French philosopher Foucault who says ‘discipline is a political anatomy of detail… in its function the power to punish is not essentially different from that of curing or educating’. To sustain our effort of dislodging the DA by exposing its political bankruptcy, we must maintain high levels of political consciousness and discipline. Unity in Action.”