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Johannesburg - Charges have been withdrawn against 23 Gauteng ANC members suspended for their involvement in a protest in Ratanda, near Heidelberg.
The party's provincial disciplinary committee ruled that their prosecution be stopped because the disciplinary proceedings were not finalised within six months.
“Since all the charged members have pleaded not guilty to the charges, they are entitled to their acquittal on all charges.”
Disciplinary proceedings were instituted last year in May.
Under the African National Congress constitution, disciplinary proceedings had to be conducted within six months from the date that notice of the charge was delivered.
During service delivery protests in Ratanda in April last year, shops owned by foreigners were looted and two houses and a municipal office were torched. The houses were owned by ward councillors.
At least 80 people were arrested for civil unrest and looting shops and businesses.
At the time, the Gauteng ANC said members who were involved in the protest had been served with suspension letters and would face disciplinary hearings.
Three of them were councillors in the area Ä Mluleki Nkosi, Lulama Gamede and Nkosana Tshabalala.
The other members were Jabu Masondo, Mpho Moloi, Bongani Simelane, Bongani Maduna, Nape Madigoe, Sipho Mazibuko, Percy Sithole, Tebeho Lebethe, Teresa Mofokeng, Thoko Mahlangu, Themba Motsepe, Mandlankosi Radebe, Mduduzi Nhlapo, Mzwakhe Mndebele, Jacob Mokoena, Thuto Motsepe, Mafika Khumalo, Thabang Motsele, Nyaleng Motsele and Thabo Seaga.
At the time, ANC Gauteng spokesman Dumisa Ntuli said these members had reversed the work the ruling party had done in the area. - Sapa