Cape Town 16.01.11 ANC meeting at, Landbou Saal in Piketberg picture : neil baynes

South Africans must rise against incompetent leaders, the African Independent Congress, a party formed by former ANC members who wanted Matatiele to remain in KZN, said on Saturday.

The call was made by party President Mandla Galo at the AIC’s first conference held in Kokstad on Saturday.

“The people of this country must rise against lumpen politicians who continue to loot the state, we cannot allow a situation where our beloved country is hijacked by political thugs posing as genuine leaders.” Over 200 delegates gathered at Mount Curry School in Kokstad.

Galo accused the African National Congress of political cheating and looting of state resources while failing to deliver services.

He added that the continuing violent service delivery protests across the country were a sign that communities had grown tired of empty promises from government.

“The protests are a clear indication that people are claiming their power back,” he said.

The AIC was formed in December 2005 as a result of unhappiness over the demarcation process in Matatiele. It contested the 2006

local government elections, where the party won 10 seats in the Matatiele council.

Last year, the party which has one seat in the Eastern Cape legislature, won seats in seven municipalities in KwaZulu-Natal and the Eastern Cape. - Sapa