Skwatsha stabbed at ANC meeting

The African National Congress’s Western Cape secretary, Mcebisi Skwatsha, was stabbed in the neck at an ANC meeting in the Worcester town hall on Thursday evening.

The provincial ANC said in a statement that Skwatsha was taken to hospital as a precautionary measure and to clean up the wound.

Police spokesperson Superintendent Andre Traut said a 30-year-old man was arrested and would appear in court soon.

National party spokesperson Jessie Duarte said the meeting was held following a decision of the Western Cape ANC to suspend the Boland regional executive for “defiance of provincial directives on municipal matters. The ANC is deeply shocked at the knife attack.”

The Western Cape ANC said in a statement the meeting was well attended and orderly, but was “disrupted by a small group of people who came for the purpose of disrupting the meeting”.

“We stopped the meeting to ensure the safety of those who were present,” it said.

Skwatsha is no stranger to controversy. In September last year, he was cleared by the Western Cape legislature’s public accounts committee of wrongdoing in a lucrative Cape Town land deal.

Allegations that Skwatsha had interfered in the sale of a province-owned 2,4ha erf in Tamboerskloof had been referred to the committee by the Democratic Alliance.

The Mail & Guardian reported in June 2007 that Skwatsha had used his former position as provincial minister of transport and public works to steer the land deal to business people close to the ruling party. That was the conclusion of forensic investigators and a provincial government disciplinary hearing.

The documentary record obtained by the M&G, which included a draft forensic report, court papers and records from the disciplinary hearing, made it clear that Skwatsha had intervened with provincial officials, who appear to have committed fraud in an effort to ensure that the tender was awarded to a consortium known as Rowmoor Investments 490.

Rowmoor included among its directors Fezile Calana, a former ANC employee; Shaun Rai, a businessperson aligned with Western Cape Premier Ebrahim Rasool’s opponents in several politically sensitive empowerment battles; and Nombeka Mlambo, who had since fallen out with Rai.

Also last year, Skwatsha also cleared of claims that he had failed to disclose an interest in two companies while employed as provincial transport and public works minister.

A legislature committee said that Skwatsha had had interests in Jama Security Services and GAEB Game Farming, but there was no obligation on him to declare these in the register of members’ interests as he was not an MPL at the time—early 2004—that he resigned from the companies.

Skwatsha resigned his provincial cabinet post in July 2005.

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