ANC regional leader forced to flee meeting

Zine George

ANC provincial chairman Phumulo Masualle had to flee a party meeting in Sterkstroom after an angry mob forced their way through municipal gates baying for his blood.

Stones were thrown at Masualle’s black Mercedes-Benz ML as he fled the scene, while municipal buildings were also damaged after they were pelted with rocks.

Police spokeswoman Colonel Sibongile Soci said 10 Sterkstroom residents appeared in the magistrate’s court yesterday charged with public violence.

Soci said this was after public order police service (Pops) officers from Queenstown were called in to clear a crowd of more than 1000 protesters blockading main roads into the town.

“Sterkstroom police had to escort [Masualle] out of the town before Pops arrived and arrested the 10,” Soci said.

Masualle had gone to Sterkstroom last Friday to communicate a provincial ANC decision to dissolve its Chris Hani regional executive committee. This is the same region which championed the ousting of provincial secretary Oscar Mabuyane during the elective conference in Port Elizabeth last June, but failed.

Police had to be called in as Masualle fled the council chambers as protesters burnt tyres and threw stones.

They were demanding answers from the provincial chairman as to why their regional structure was being disbanded.

Nkwankca sub-regional secretary Thembinkosi Ngciki was with Masualle when they heard stones being thrown at the building. He said a huge crowd was blockading the gate, demanding to see him. “Tyres were burning around the building as well as Sterkstroom township where we were scheduled to meet,” he said.

Masualle’s bodyguards rushed him to his vehicle and he fled the municipal premises, with the crowd pelting his car with stones.

Masualle could not be reached for comment yesterday.

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