ANC member behind violent protest on N2 highway suspended

African News Agency (ANA)

ANC member behind violent protest on N2 highway suspended
This protests were allegedly sparked by unhappiness with the ANC’s Ward 40 councillor candidate, Bongani Ngcombolo.

The African National Congress in the Western Cape on Thursday suspended a member who was allegedly a “key instigator” in violence which erupted on the N2 highway near Cape Town International Airport on Wednesday night.

The party’s Provincial Secretary Faiez Jacobs had earlier on Thursday denied that any of its structures had been involved in the protests which had erupted on Borcherds Quarry Road and saw the torching of two buses and the closure of the N2.

In a statement on Thursday afternoon, however, Jacobs said: “The ANC in the Western Cape has moved swiftly to suspend a key instigator into yesterday’s N2 violent protest, subject to the disciplinary processes that will be underway soonest.

“The ANC has found the member to have brought the party into disrepute, making certain false allegations against the ANC and threatening to commit public violence. The member was quoted as having said ‘We are going to continue to make the N2 chaotic and unstable’ and we find these particular utterances irresponsible, reckless and bordering on inciting violence.”

He added: “ANC expects an exemplary and high level of discipline from its members. We can’t allow individual members to hold the ANC to ransom. The ANC has structures, starting from Branch level up to the National Executive Committee (NEC), where all appeals can be taken to when members are not happy with particular outcomes. The loose rhetoric by some members that, causing destruction and chaos is their last resort to get attention from the ANC cannot possible be true, and we reject that as a justification to cause destruction.”

This protests were allegedly sparked by unhappiness with the ANC’s Ward 40 councillor candidate, Bongani Ngcombolo.

The party said a letter of suspension had been sent to the regional secretary to hand deliver to the said member after which a disciplinary process would be instituted.

“The ANC will continue to investigate the involvement of other members on yesterday’s N2 violent protest and will not hesitate to institute disciplinary measure on those members found guilty of contravening ANC policy.”

Jacobs had earlier said the protests were a facade, covering up opportunistic crimes.

“These are acts of individuals who are taking advantage of problems we have had with candidate list processes to perpetuate a state of chaos that allows them to loot and rob innocent people,” said Jacobs.

Disgruntlement with its candidate lists has plagued the ANC as a whole, with the Western Cape also affected. Its most recent challenges included the defection of former councillor Loyiso Nkohla, who has endorsed the Democratic Alliance after years of rallying grassroots support for the ANC. It also followed Saturday’s so-called hostage situation of Nkohla’s former Ses’khona People’s Rights Movement leader, Andile Lili.

This all allegedly stemmed from the ANC’s candidates list which have added to a reported disillusionment with the party.

Jacobs had said that there were no ANC structures protesting on and near Borcherds Quarry on Wednesday night and had condemned the “disruption and damage” which included the torching of two Golden Arrow buses.

According to the City of Cape Town’s law enforcement teams, the protest action began at about 18h45 on Wednesday evening, with protestors burning tyres near Airport Approach Road.

By 19h15, the South African Police Service’s Tactical Response and Public Order Policing units were on scene, along with the City’s law enforcement agencies and firefighters. At that point, two Golden Arrow buses had already been set alight.

Two suspects were also arrested during the protests for allegedly robbing motorists. They were caught in possession of knives and a replica firearm.

At about 23h15, the protest action died down and both incoming and outgoing lanes on the N2 were reopened.

The protest action reportedly spilled over or emanated from the Barcelona informal settlement, where previously, issues of sanitation and ablution facilities had been focal points for community protests.

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SOURCEAfrican News Agency (ANA)