Police deny ANC claims of death at Mpumalanga branch meeting
Johannesburg - Mpumalanga police on Tuesday denied claims by the ANC in Mpumalanga that there was a death during a violent incident at a branch general meeting (BGM) of the party in ward 32 of the Nkomazi sub-region in that province.
The party in the province said that at least one person had died due to the violence which took place during a BGM held on Sunday in preparation for the regional and provincial conferences.
In a statement, ANC Mpumalanga spokesperson Sasekani Manzini said that the “unfortunate and anti-ANC incident of violence” in Nkomazi had not only disrupted a constitutional gathering of the ANC, but “took away lives of people”.
“While the ANC is busy with it’s own investigation to get more insight on the incident, we request the SAPS to investigate this matter speedily, and bring all those involved to book.
“As the ANC we are struggling to believe that this could have been a pure act of criminality, but suspect a co-ordinated activity to disrupt the proper functioning of the ANC in the province, especially in this process of BGMs leading up to the regional and provincial conferences,” Manzini said.
She said that they were aware that those who had caused the incident were not members of the ANC in the said branch, but were “bused from somewhere else” to disrupt a constitutional meeting of the ANC.
“This is a tendency we will not tolerate or rest until we have defeated it and it is precisely for this reason that we will also apply rule 25 of our Constitution and institute disciplinary action against all those involved in this unfortunate incident,” Manzini said.
However, Mpumalanga police spokesperson Lieutenant-Colonel Donald Mdhluli confirmed that there had been a violent incident that took place, but that nobody had died as claimed by the ANC in the province.
“There is no one who died there. There were people who are injured, there were five who sustained injuries and two of them are currently discharged from hospital and the other three are in a critical condition.”
“People normally circulate news which is not true over social media. On Sunday they said there were two people who died, I checked and there was no one. Yesterday (Monday) they said it was one person but this was also not true,” Mdhluli said.
He added that police had also checked with the local hospital but there was no record of a dead person following the incident.
“When somebody dies, especially if it’s an unnatural death, they have to inform the police so there is no way that we would not know, as we are the first respondents alongside the people from the health department. Those are the people that you can rely on with regards to such issues,” Mdhluli said.