An Mpumalanga regional ANC chairperson and a mayor’s bodyguard have been found guilty of assaulting a former comrade.
Ehlanzeni regional chairperson Ngrayi Ngwenya, and Bheki Mhlongo – a bodyguard of Nkomazi Local Municipality Mayor Thulisile Khoza – were each fined R1 000 by the Malalane Magistrates’ Court today.
They assaulted former ANC member Collen Sedibe during a regional meeting in Malalane on April 18.
Sedibe – who was a provincial chief campaigner for former ANC deputy president Kgalema Motlanthe towards the Mangaung conference in December – was punched and kicked after he called Ngwenya to order while an organisational report was being discussed.
Sedibe has since joined the Economic Freedom Fighters as their provincial head of organising and campaigns.
Ngwenya declined to comment, saying: “I don’t want to talk about those things.”
Mpumalanga ANC secretary Lucky Ndinisa and provincial spokesperson Siphosezwe Masango could not be reached as their cellphones were off.
Khoza said that the municipality would not take any disciplinary steps against Mhlongo because the incident happened in an ANC meeting.
“I think it’s a matter that will be handled organisationally (in the ANC), because that was not a municipal meeting,” she said.
Sedibe said that he felt relieved, particularly because the ANC turned down his attempt to have the matter investigated internally.
“The ANC swept my complaint under the carpet. Though I’m not satisfied with the lenient sentence, I feel relieved by the guilty verdict,” he said.
While he was still an ANC member, Sedibe was among a group of members who were campaigning to unseat Premier David Mabuza as provincial ANC chairperson.
Ngwenya, on the other hand, is among Mabuza’s staunch supporters and has played a major role to ensure his re-election as provincial chairperson early last year.
It is not the first time Ngwenya has been accused of assaulting party members.
In 2011, former acting ANC Youth League chairperson Gerson Nevari laid criminal charges against Ngwenya for allegedly assaulting him and disrupting the league’s meetings in Nkomazi.
Nevari later dropped the charges.
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