As the violence in Tshwane gets more intense, the national head of campaigning‚ African National Congress (ANC) Nomvula Mokonyane has made a move to distance the ruling party from the havoc that erupted after the announcement of Thoko Didiza as the party’s mayoral candidate for Tshwane.
In her statement, Mokonyane said that the protests were “criminality masquerading as demonstrations,” implying that the protesters were not acting in the name of the party.
The violent protests have led to the burning of trucks‚ buses and law enforcement vehicles. Protesters also seized the opportunity to loot shops and block some access roads on Monday and Tuesday.
During a tussle between the party members which resulted in a shooting on Sunday, an ANC member was shot and later reported to have died from his injury.
The unhappiness stems from the apparent imposition of outsider Didiza on the Tshwane ANC branches‚ which had nominated current mayor Kgosientso Ramokgopa or the regional deputy chairperson Mapiti Matsena for the post.
During her call to radio 702 which had cut into an interview John Robbie was having with Matsena, Mokonyane emphasized that the violence in Tshwane was “not in our names,” adding that Ramokgopa had also distanced himself from the Tshwane violence.
Prior to the interruption‚ Matsena had been telling Robbie that he was “No 1 on the candidate list.”
He had denied that there were “differences” between himself and Ramokgopa‚ as he lamented on the path the ruling party had taken, which has led to members taking to the streets to protest whenever they do not achieve their personal agendas through party processes.
ANC secretary-general Gwede Mantashe also described the events in Tshwane as mere “pure thuggery,” and not of a political nature.