Mpumalanga African National Congress (ANC) chairperson, David Mabuza, is currently facing heavy criticism for allegedly using a “private army” to intimidate ANC members.
The shocking allegation was made by ANC presidential hopeful Mathews Phosa after a video showing a group of suspected ANC members firing a series of gunshots in the air while they were in a crowd of people that included children went viral.
— Xoli Mngambi (@XoliMngambi) December 6, 2017
Phosa claimed that the men spotted were ANC members and that they formed part of the “private army” of Mabuza, who is mooted to be the country’s next deputy president.
“That video was shot after some of the branch general meetings (BGMs) recently. They’ve been used to intimidate people,” the ANC presidential hopeful claimed.
In the wake of the shocking allegation, the ANC structures in Mpumalanga, on Wednesday, slammed their former leader [Phosa] for the allegation.
Charles Nkuna, the secretary of the MKMVA in Mpumalanga, described the allegation as “very disturbing”, adding that the region is saddened because “one of our own lambasted us in the media”.
“Some guys are saying these guys are the army of a premier,” said Makhosini. “I didn’t see anything that links them to a private army,” he said.
In addition, the ANC Youth League secretary in the region, Pholoso Mbatsane called for disciplinary action to be taken against Phosa and for him to be mentally examined.
“An attack on the African National Congress and its leadership will be viewed as an attack on the African National Congress. The “Afrikaner-poet Mathews Phosa” has consistently attacked the character of “Comrade DD [Mabuza].
“We are not going to allow that. We expect much more from Comrade Phosa as a seasoned cadre of the African National Congress. If need be, the fellow must be taken to a health institution for a mental assessment. We really do not believe the man is in his right state of mind,” Mbatsane slammed harder.
Mathews Phoa is one ANC senior member who has had difficult times ascending to the party’s top post. An attorney and a veteran politician, Phosa is well known for playing influential roles during the apartheid era.
He was appointed as Mpumalanga premier. He held the position until 1999. In 2007, during the ANC 52nd National Conference held in Polokwane in the Limpopo Province, Phosa was elected the party’s Treasurer General.
Phosa was defeated by Cyril Ramaphosa when both ran for the post of ANC Deputy President in 2012. Ramaphosa received 3,018 votes while he received 470 votes. He officially announced his intention to seek the Presidential nomination on June 11, 2017.
Following his home province general meeting held recently in Mpumalanga, Phosa claimed that rigging of the meeting thwarted his party presidential ambitions. On Friday, the high court in Pretoria is set to hear his application to have the BGM process nullified.