ANC to probe ’false’ criminal charge against Joburg party leader Keke Tabane
Share this article:
Johannesburg - The ANC in Joburg has vowed to investigate claims that rival leaders in Roodepoort on the West Rand have filed an incitement of violence charge against their branch secretary in a bid to eliminate him as a party’s candidate for the upcoming local government elections.
According to insiders, the complainants lodged a criminal case against Keke Tabane hoping that the ruling party would disqualify him from being a councillor in accordance with the ANC’s step-aside policy instruction to all senior members and officials facing criminal charges in courts of law.
But after being alerted about the allegation, the ANC is said to have given Tabane an opportunity to contest the election as the party’s councillor-elect despite facing a criminal charge of inciting violence following protests in Gauteng and KwaZulu-Natal.
Tabane made a brief appearance in the Roodepoort Magistrate’s Court on Monday where he was charged with incitement.
He was not asked to plead on the charge but instead the State opted not to oppose bail for him after he spent seven days in jail while awaiting to apply for bail.
During his appearance, the prosecution did not reveal its reasons for not opposing bail but it was believed that the charge against him was allegedly politically motivated by his ANC rivals in Ward 127.
Ward 127 comprises areas of Durban Deep, Leratong, Sol Plaatje and sections of Tshepisong township in the Roodepoort district.
He was arrested on July 18 and made his first appearance on July 20.
He was ordered to remain in custody for seven days before he could be allowed to apply for bail.
Under a Schedule 1 offence, Tabane was supposed to address the court to show it was in the interest of justice that he should be released on bail, but the State came to his rescue when it opted not to oppose his bail.
He was granted bail of R5 000.
Tabane was ordered not to interfere with the witnesses whose identities were not revealed. The court heard that it was for security reasons.
But the local ANC had none of it.
ANC Zone 5 chairperson Phido Thage reiterated yesterday that the charge against Tabane was a fabrication.
Thage maintained that the names of the State witnesses were known to them alleging that most of them were responsible for the disruption of branch general meetings (BGMs), which wanted to elect Tabane as the Ward chairperson and councillor-elect for the upcoming national local government elections.
“They fabricated lies against comrade Keke Tabane. There have never been incidents of looting in our area. It is strange that the very people who laid charges against him are the very same who accused him of defending white monopoly capital.
“They made these allegations while Tabane was moving from one area to another encouraging people to protect businesses against looting and vandalism.
“When their plans failed, they then went to the police and claimed that he incited violence. Our view is that they want him eliminated from being a councillor-elect at our branch meeting,” Thage said.
He further said: “we call on the ANC to conduct a fair investigation leading up to the arrest of Cde Keke to ascertain who was actually involved in the smear campaign against him.”
ANC Joburg region spokesperson Sasabona Manganye confirmed receipt of the complaint and said the regional leaders were giving the matter their attention.
He added that the ANC’s elections team would determine whether Tabane qualifiec for nomination.
“We are going to investigate the claims. We hope that the police will also do their work,” Manganye said.
Tabane is due back in court on September 20.