Pretoria - Tshwane ANC leaders have apologised to residents who were affected by the chaos that erupted on Monday after disgruntled members of the party marched to its regional offices in Arcadia.
Chairman Kgosientso Ramokgopa said the safety of innocent people was put on the line when members clashed with staff from the regional office and police on Stanza Bopape Street.
The demonstrators were calling for the national office to intervene and disband the current leadership.
They also wanted the “wisdom list” - members who will participate in the regional elective conference in October - to be nullified and all members in good standing to be allowed to participate.
“We have a duty to ensure there is peace in the city. The conduct displayed on the day can have manifestation on how people perceive the ANC,” said Ramokgopa.
He was addressing members of the media alongside regional general secretary Paul Mojapelo, his deputy Mapiti Matsena and regional treasurer George Matjila.
Tshwane is the biggest ANC region in the province. “What happened is not a picture of how a capital city should conduct itself.
“It is disturbing that some of the people involved were not members of the ANC. They caused problems before and undermined the party.”
Ramokgopa said the people involved in the march were expelled from the party following a disciplinary process after hosting a parallel elective conference in 2011.
He said their expulsion had nothing to do with the upcoming conference. Since they fell outside the auspices of the party, law enforcement agencies had to intervene, he said.
“General ANC members are disciplined - discipline is non-negotiable in the ANC. If people undermine the party, there will be consequences. Any member of the ANC who meets certain minimum criteria can contest for leadership positions. However, the process will not be compromised by anyone.”
Ramokgopa said the members were expelled by the national office after internal processes.
He said a pattern of violence was being used to undermine the ruling party in the eyes of the public and weaken it leading up to the local government elections in 2016.
Matsena stated that membership audit in preparation for the conference was done by the national office and could not be manipulated by anyone at region level.
“If there was a problem with membership in the region, that would have been picked during the audit,” he added.