W Cape poo-flingers turn on ANC
They first terrorised the DA-led provincial government by dumping human faeces in government buildings and organising violent marches to Western Cape Premier Helen Zille’s offices.
Now the group of ANC members, who also run a non-governmental organisation, Ses’ khona, have turned on the ANC and will be marching on the party’s provincial headquarters in the Cape Town central business district on Thursday.
ANC leaders have voiced their concern with the behavior and conduct of Ses’khona, the NGO that is led by former ANC councillors Loyiso Nkohla and Andile Lili.
The ANC’s provincial secretary in the Western Cape, Songezo Mjongile, told journalists that he and other top leaders in the province have been receiving threatening SMSs from the group for months now.
Mjongile characterised the Ses’ khona leadership as “thugs” who are trying to intimidate the party’s provincial leadership, which had raised concerns about their conduct and tactics.
“He sends me six or seven paragraph SMSs threatening me,” Mjongile said.
He accused the group of burning down a community hall in Bloemkombos and harassing the councillor in the area. Mjongile claimed that they had also dumped faeces at the home of another ANC councillor.
“So, there is this systematic campaign targeting ANC members and leaders by Ses’ khona, where people think they can do things without consequences.” Mjongile said the group was exploiting the conditions in which poor people lived in.
He said the group started off as a sanitation movement, then moved to promising people land and jobs and they were unpredictable as to what they would move into next.
“They are a crisis movement, they thrive on crisis, for every crisis they see, it’s an opportunity for them to emerge, they would mobilise around that particular crisis without offering genuine solutions,” said Mjongile.
DA concerns ignored
The irony in these latest developments is that Zille had raised similar concerns about the group on several occasions throughout 2013, but the ANC ignored those concerns.
Zille had pointed out how the Ses’ Khona group thrived on anarchy and accused them of being behind the so-called “ungovernability campaign” to unsettle the DA-led provincial government.
Mjongile is not keen in involving the police in the matter. “In my view thugs are thugs, I’m not going to run to the police because of that.” He said he could deal with Nkohla and defend himself personally because he had judo.
But he warned saying that the ANC would most likely invoke section 25 of its Constitution, which deals with member discipline. He said ANC members who took part in any activity that brought the party into disrepute will undergo disciplinary processes of the ANC as they are at all times expected to uphold ANC principles.
He also noted that at its Mangaung conference, the ANC resolved that any actions of members that seek to undermine unity and cohesion of the movement would be disciplined.
Nkohla and Lili are not new to ANC disciplinary processes. In 2012, they were disciplined and found guilty for booing President Jacob Zuma when he delivered one of the ANC lectures that were part of the 100 years anniversary celebrations.
In 2013 again, they were disciplined for their faeces-dumping campaign and expelled from the party, but the ANC reversed that expulsion and in fact called them to be part of those who led the party’s elections campaign in May this year due to their popularity in informal settlements.
The provincial ANC also criticised the City of Cape Town for granting Ses’ khona the right to march to the ANC offices, saying this action will undoubtedly cause pandemonium in the city with the business district put at risk and the city centre rendered dysfunctional.
“This effectively fulfills Seskhona’s prophesy of rendering the city ungovernable and the city is anchoring their cause.”
No ‘time to waste’ on ANC
Nkohla dismissed Mjongile’s statements and the concerns he raised in the media. He spoke of Ses’ khona’s bigger plans to help the poor communities, saying they did not have time to waste on ANC leaders. “When you are hunting a snake, you don’t get distracted by a frog. Songezo is a frog,” said Nkohla.
He said they were marching against the ANC to stop the party from meddling politically in the affairs of the Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (Prasa). Nkohla accused Mjongile of trying to block a contract between Ses’ khona and Prasa where Ses’ khona members were due to get a cleaning contract from Prasa.
“We submitted a proposal of job creation for the employment of youth and women to clean train stations, and run an awareness on safety and illegal riding programme. Prasa management told us they didn’t have a problem with the proposal, but the ANC objected saying this will work against the ANC in the western Cape,” claimed Nkohla.
“We are not asking for favours there, we submitted a proposal as a public entity. It’s upon Prasa to reject our proposal,” he said. Mjongile denied that he interfered with the proposal or contract. Prasa could not be reached for comment.
Sources in the ANC believe that Ses’ khona, which is made mainly of ANC members, was just another faction of the Western Cape ANC’s factions and that it was fighting with the current provincial leadership about business opportunities in a province where the ANC doesn’t control the state contracts.
Two other senior ANC members in the province said such were to be expected, in the build up to the party’s provincial elective conference, which is due early next year.