The ANC has recanted its earlier statement about alleged deaths that occurred at one of its branch general meetings (BGM) Limpopo, saying “after conducting a thorough investigation”, there was no loss of lives at the BGM held in Lephalale over the weekend.
“The ANC apologises for the inaccurate information and calls on the media to exercise maximum care and prudence on the information they place out in the public,” the party said in a statement on Monday evening.
Earlier on Monday, the ANC had described the violence that occurred in one of its branch general meeting (BGM) in Limpopo as an act of “hooliganism and thuggery”.
This was on the back of reports that two people lost their lives and 14 seriously injured following a shootout during a BGM to nominate a ward councillor candidate in Waterberg region.
“This negative tendency of hooliganism and thuggery has got no place in our organisation,” the party said in a statement on Monday.
“The ANC will not leave any stone unturned to investigate and unmask those who are involved in these acts. Should it be found that they are members in good standing, they will be summarily suspended and also reported to law enforcement agencies.”
The party has since described the disruption of organisational processes and meetings as a “new cancer that must be exorcised from the ranks of our movement”.
It said that more than 2 500 branch executive committees (BEC) have been elected since March in 4 500 BGMs held across the country with a majority of them proceeding peacefully.
“The criminals who seek to undermine or hijack our democratic processes do not belong in the ANC. The ANC conveys its condolences to the families that have lost their loved ones. We wish a speedy recovery to the injured,” the statement said.
Back in April, the Limpopo ANC regional elective conference season got off to a bloody start after two people were stabbed during branch general meetings in Dennilton, outside Groblersdal, in the Sekhukhune region.
The province has five regions: the Norman Mashabane, with 129 branches, Vhembe 127, Sekhukhune 118, Peter Mokaba 113 and Waterberg with 80 branches.
Additional reporting by Alex Japho Matlala