Pretoria - Political battles have been ignited among ANC members in Region 7, which includes Bronkhorstspruit, Zithobeni and surrounding areas.

This is the declaration of members who are recovering after allegedly being attacked in the chaos that preceded a branch meeting on Sunday.

They have vowed that the leadership of the branch will work from the Bronkhorstspruit sport centre - where they were elected - and will not set foot in the townships. The aggrieved members claimed they were chased away as they entered the local sports centre for the meeting.

The incident had its roots in the ANC Tshwane regional conference held in October, they claimed.

The complainants, members of the ANC Youth League in the area, told the Pretoria News the attack was part of the intimidation in the build-up to the conference.

They claimed members were being intimidated and audit processes were being manipulated by the leadership to ensure only those who would support them participated in the conference.

Ronnie Motha said he was caught and beaten up before being rescued by police.

Another member, Cherwin Mathabathe, said he had just arrived at the sports centre when the group of men arrived in two minibuses, armed with guns and Tasers.

“They chased us away from the venue. I used my pepper spray to fend off a man who attacked me with a Taser. Several other people were shocked with the Tasers,” he said.

Sizwe Skhosana said the attackers had gone to the meeting prepared and seemingly fearless.

He said they walked around as if they were not afraid of anyone.

“But this is our branch. They are not from here and had no right coming here and acting like they called the shots,” he said.

Mathabathe said local members were prepared to die to fight for the integrity of the ANC. “The branch is going to be dysfunctional. If no one resolves the leadership issues at the branch, there will be no municipal election in 2016 in this region.

“Branch members across the region are unhappy with the leadership. When you raise issues you get attacked.”

Motha added: “The war is not over; it has only just begun. They can go to the regional conference, re-elect each other and return with the leadership no one recognises, like is the case with our branch leaders.”

Regional secretary Paul Mojapelo denied claims that the leadership was manipulating the membership process. He said membership was the responsibility of the branch, not the leadership.

He said he had not received a full report about the Sunday meeting.

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Pretoria News