Family demand R10m from ANC or court
Johannesburg - The ANC could soon be dragged to court if it does not accede to the demand of more than R10 million from the family of the late Mpumalanga ANC member who was killed during a branch meeting earlier this year.
This comes after the family of Prince Manzini hired Johannesburg-based law firm, Mabuza Attorneys, to pursue the party for damages as it accuses it of being responsible for his death.
The lawyers have already issued the party with a letter, dated August 7, demanding that it pays R10 100 000 into its bank account within 14 days or be dragged to court.
Manzini died in March after a branch meeting convened to nominate delegates to the provincial elective conference – which was initially scheduled for April – degenerated into chaos in Kabokweni, Ehlanzeni.
A fight broke out after some of the attendees were allegedly allowed to enter the meeting without producing their IDs, resulting in some members being injured, including Manzini, who was bludgeoned to death.
The lawyers said the ANC had to shoulder the blame for the deadly chaos as it failed to put in place safety measures to protect its members.
“The deceased was killed due to your negligent conduct in that you failed or omitted to ensure that only accredited members of the ANC attended the meeting and you failed to provide security at the meeting, given the fact that it was reasonably foreseeable that the aforesaid meeting could become violent,” says the letter.
The lawyers pointed out that Manzini’s family had suffered damages as a result of his death, including loss of support, funeral expenses as well as emotional shock and pain, which the ANC has had to pay for.
“The family is also entitled to constitutional damages as a result of the killing of the deceased whose rights to life were unlawfully and brutally taken vis-à-vis his rights of freedom of association, which conduct also infringed into the family’s constitutional rights of human dignity,” the letter reads.
Manzini was a lobbyist for the current ANC acting provincial chairperson, Mandla Ndlovu, who is going up against Premier Refilwe MtshweniTsipane for the position of provincial chairperson, which was left vacant by Deputy President David Mabuza.
“Unless we receive a payment within the period set out in the preceding paragraph, our instruction is to institute legal action against yourselves without any further notice,” the lawyers indicated.
The breakdown of the demanded millions of rand included R3m for Manzini’s wife, Sandile Millot Hlatshwayo, R3m for his 24-year-old son Benjamin Hlatswayo and R4m for his 17-year-old daughter Shaleen Manzini while R100 000 was for funeral expenses, allegedly incurred by the family.
Mpumalanga ANC spokesperson Sasekani Manzini confirmed knowledge of the letter but referred questions to Luthuli House, where it was primarily directed by the lawyers.
ANC national spokesperson Pule Mabe did not respond to questions at the time of publication.