Johannesburg - The Sedibeng regional offices of the African National Congress (ANC) have been burnt down by "unknown arsonists", the ruling party said on Monday.
"The ANC Gauteng Province condemns in the strongest possible terms acts of criminality by unknown arsonists who burned our Sedibeng regional offices in the early hours of this morning," said the ANC in a statement issued by Tasneem Motara, the PEC Spokesperson.
"At this stage, the report we have from the caretaker, who was in the property at the time, is that he was awakened by the sound of breaking windows and the next thing he knew the building was set on fire. He escaped unharmed from the incident."
The ANC said a case of arson was being opened with the police in Vereeniging.
"The burning of our offices is tantamount to an attack on the people of Sedibeng and it is an act of cowardice by people who want to use violence and threats to undermine the work of the ANC in the Region," said the ANC.
Eyewitness News (EWN) reports that the police's Kay Makhubele says that no arrests have yet been made.
"A case of arson has been registered. So far no one has been injured but our investigation is continuing. The cause of the fire will be revealed later."
Incident report ⚠️— CCI Network (@cci_network) January 28, 2019
A early morning / overnight fire 🔥 has destroyed the ANC Regional office in the Emfuleni Municipality ( Sedibeng District , Vereeniging).
Cause of the 🔥 unknown at this stage pic.twitter.com/rGtDUD3nuJ
This region has been grappling with leadership battles since the disbandment of the regional executive committee of Sedibeng last year.
EWN reports that there was also anger over the appointment of the new mayor, Gift Moerane. Party members claim that he’s no longer an active member of the ANC.
The ANC Women's League has now written to the party's national structures that saying it will stage a protest outside Luthuli House on Monday over the matter.
African News Agency/ANA