Cape Town - While Ses’khona leader Andile Lili is out of danger after being shot multiple times, trouble is brewing within Western Cape ANC ranks over the public spat between their leadership and the outspoken poo activist.
And there are claims that business rather than political considerations might be at the core of the matter.
Provincial health spokesman Mark van der Heever said: “The patient had surgery and is now out of danger. He will be monitored and then transferred to a ward.” Captain FC van Wyk said no arrests had been made and investigations would continue.
News of the shooting spread rapidly through the province’s regions, with senior ANC members in the party’s provincial executive committee lashing out at party leaders for threatening Ses’khona on Thursday.
Lili’s shooting comes weeks after a fatal attack on ANC branch chairman and former Sanco leader Charles Khanku outside a meeting in Crossroads.
Several party members from the Dullah Omar region, close supporters of Lili, said some in the ANC leadership felt threatened by Ses’khona.
The real fight, he said, was about the contract to supply proper sanitation to township areas.
“It is well known that some in the ANC were hoping to get their chums to get contracts to supply toilets, but Ses’khona was standing in their way, making their own plans to improve sanitation in township areas,” a former ANC Youth League member said.
Denying the claims, ANC Western Cape secretary Songezo Mjongile said it was a misrepresentation of facts.
“Our only disapproval of Ses’khona was the throwing of human faeces and ignoring the code of conduct of the ANC.”
Well-placed insiders in the ANC’s provincial executive committee said a provincial working committee decided on Monday that national intervention was needed to assist with the Ses’khona trouble.
“The decision was clear - engage with Ses’khona, not start a war of words,” a senior party member said.
But Mjongile said it was merely a discussion and no decision had been taken.
“Only the provincial executive committee can make that decision, and it will meet only at the weekend.”
The insider added a motion had also been tabled to institute disciplinary action against Lili and Ses’khona activist Loyiso Nkohla, but the idea was turned down during the meeting.
Mjongile confirmed he had been talking to the party’s national leadership about Ses’khona.
“I report to my leadership on everything that happens, and am in ongoing consultation with the secretary-general Gwede Mantashe and other leaders.”
Asked if he thought the ANC was facing a split in ranks, Mjongile said: “From where I sit there are some who want to create a split but that will not happen.”
He said the PEC would have to discuss all these matter over the weekend.
Ses’khona spokesman Sithembele Majoba said the attack on Lili was a politically motivated hit, and blamed the ANC, although he did not give names.
But Mjongile hit back, saying such statements were reckless and dangerous.
“As the ANC we reject the insinuation that this matter has any ANC involvement,” he said.
Informed members in the Dullah Omar region said Mjongile has had an ongoing feud with Lili and Nkohla dating to the time they were all in the ANC Youth League.
One said: “The problem in the ANC is that the factionalism in the party has now split up into business enterprises. These businessmen running the ANC have brought a political blankness to the party - they will never understand the concept of activism.”
Lili and Nkohla have been a thorn in the side of many politicians, first venting their anger at the DA, causing havoc with violent marches during which human faeces was dumped in front of the Western Cape legislature.
Now the two have set their sights on the ANC’s provincial leadership over what they called political meddling with a planned link-up with parastatals to provide jobs.
The group marched to the Passenger Rail Agency of SA, accusing Mjongile of blocking its job-creation project with Prasa.
And the group wants Mjongile suspended for his actions.
Sources close to Mjongile said he had enlisted the service of a private security firm. Mjongile declined to comment.
Meanwhile, there has been sharp reaction to the shooting.
Describing the attack as cowardly, the ANC’s deputy secretary in the province, Maurencia Gillion, said she was shocked and outraged after hearing the news.
Wishing Lili a speedy recovery, Gillion urged police to proceed swiftly with their investigation and bring the perpetrators to book.
“As the ANC we call for calm and urge the public to allow the police the space to carry out their job and urge anyone with information to contact the police,” Gillion said.
Khaya Magaxa, SACP provincial secretary and ANC MPL in the Western Cape legislature, said he rushed to Khayelitsha after hearing the news.
“I was flooded by calls and SMSes from comrades and I rushed through. I left the hospital at 3am after being told that Lili had been stabilised.
“I am shocked by these attacks on ANC members.”
Magaxa said there was a new trend of criminals committing violence against ANC activists.
“This will not be allowed. We need our people to remain calm and not to speculate about who is responsible. We must let the law take its course.”
Calling for calm, Magaxa said the SACP did not want people fighting.
“Moreover, condemnation of such acts must be spread from all sectors of society to all corners of our communities. Let a calm and restrained temperament prevail while the police conduct their investigation.”