Premier Refilwe Mtsweni-Tsipane’s aspiration to become Mpumalanga ANC leader has been thrown another lifeline after the party’s national disciplinary committee (NDC) acquitted her chief lobbyist, Michael Ngrayi Ngwenya, on assault charges.
The ANC suspended Ngwenya and fellow regional executive committee (REC) member Phindile Nkuna in July, following the alleged assault on the party’s acting provincial secretary Lindiwe Ntshalintshali.
She sustained minor injuries after she was allegedly assaulted at the Mpumalanga ANC’s regional general council in Mbombela, where enraged members hurled chairs at her and was allegedly punched several times by Ngwenya.
Ntshalintshali was rescued by her bodyguards as pandemonium broke loose. Even the police did not escape the wrath of those who stood to lose power as a result of the disbandment.
Ngwenya’s attempt to nullify his suspension and stop the ANC from instituting disciplinary proceedings against him fell flat when the High Court in Pretoria threw out his application.
The party hauled Ngwenya and Nkuna before the disciplinary hearing at Luthuli House last week, where Ngwenya was acquitted and Nkuna found guilty of assaulting Ntshalintshalli.