ANC Tshwane regional chairman Kgosientso Ramokgopa is the former mayor of Tshwane. Picture: Masi Losi/ANA Pictures
Pretoria - At least seven ANC branches in Hammanskraal have been racked by allegations of serious factional battles which have resulted in general meetings being disrupted and subsequently rerun.

Party insiders said so intense and ugly was the infighting that some senior members were forced to abandon their homes and go into hiding following violent attacks.

The members are believed to be on the run after receiving death threats from a group of party members notorious for fuelling violence during branch meetings in Hammanskraal.

The group is linked to a senior ANC regional member, whose identity has been withheld by the Pretoria News.

Infighting in the region headed by former city mayor Kgosientso “Sputla” Ramokgopa has been cited as the main cause of the collapse of the ANC in Tshwane. This led to the party losing power to the DA-led coalition in last year’s elections.

The ringleaders of the violence allegedly disrupted meetings by hiring people from other areas for the sole purpose of causing chaos, it was claimed.

It is alleged that the status quo in the Hammanskraal constituency, believed to boast a huge membership, was worrisome to most party members in the region.

Deep concerns were raised by members who now stand to miss the party national elective conference in December because of their “dysfunctional structures”.

The infighting had been raised with the party’s regional and provincial structures without success, the disgruntled members claimed.

The intimidation was reminiscent of a branch meeting in Stinkwater, which turned violent and ended with members unleashing physical attack on one another in January last year.

ANC Tshwane regional secretary Paul Mojapelo said he knew nothing of people who had fled their homes owing to death threats from comrades.

“Who are they? How do I respond to that if I don’t know their names? I don’t have any record of any person who had run away from their home. Why are they making wild objections?”

He said complainants under attack would have obviously reported their cases to the police. “I don’t condone anarchy and violence,” he said.

Some people wrongly thought they could be active in party structures only if they were elected in branch executive committees.

Recently, he said, branch general meetings, were rerun on the basis of complaints raised against previous meetings.

Mojapelo said the outcome of those meetings was still being audited. “There are processes to raise those complaints."

Mojapelo differed with claims that some branch were dysfunctional. “To me a branch in good standing has 100 plus one members who are active andmeet every second month."

Pretoria News