Tshwane mayor Solly Msimanga announces his resignation as the Executive Mayor of Tshwane during a media briefing. Picture: Oupa Mokoena/African News Agency (ANA)

PRETORIA - The SA National Civic Organisation (Sanco) in Tshwane on Friday said it was "delighted" by news of Mayor Solly Msimanga's resignation from the top post.

"Solly leaves a legacy of theft, pain and even death in his tenure as mayor. It's worrying however that he would resign before the matter with [Shepherd] Bushiri and the Enlightened Christian Gathering [ECG] church is resolved," said Sanco Tshwane regional chairperson Abram Mashishi.

"Sanco is however undeterred by his resignation and will continue to fight the good fight for the people of Tshwane and those who lost their lives in that tragic occurrence."

Three women were killed in an apparent stampede at the ECG church during a service on December 28. Nine other congregants were injured as they ran for shelter during a heavy rainstorm. The three deceased women were identified as Patricia Pringane, Matshila Sarah Mohlala and Lehlogahlo Maria Segodi.

Sanco led protests outside the ECG premises in Pretoria, calling for the popular church to be expelled from the Pretoria venue.

Political allies, Sanco and the ANC in Tshwane have crossed swords in the aftermath of the ECG stampede, with the two organisations adopting clashing positions on the matter.

On Friday, Mashishi insisted Sanco will not be dictated to, particularly on the Bushiri matter.

"Our fight continues and we will not allow to be dictated to by members of the organisation [ANC] about our particular stance, especially with regards to the Bushiri matter. We still condemn the statement they [ANC] released in the strongest regard and we remain determined to the cause of justice," said Mashishi.

On Tuesday, the ANC Youth League (ANCYL) chairperson in Tshwane, Lesego Makhubela told a media briefing that Msimanga had deliberately lied in the aftermath of the stampede when he said the premises of the ECG were non-compliant with fire and emergency by-laws.

Contrary to Sanco's stance, the ANCYL said it was against calls for the ECG to be removed from the Pretoria showgrounds which it rents.

African News Agency (ANA)