Thursday, December 20, 2012

Police swoop on North West delegates again

Quotable "You cannot fail to serve the poor with state money and still call yourself a leader. North West Premier Thandi Modise"..... #Mangaung 20 December 2012 11:56 12 Armed police stormed a house in Bloemfontein – where delegates to the ANC conference from North West are staying – for the second time in three days. They cuffed the men and made them lie on the ground outside as they searched the house. Yesterday it was described as politicking against the anti-Zuma faction. The delegates say the armed officers stormed the house in Ceylon Street in Uitsig, Bloemfontein, late yesterday afternoon. They claimed to be looking for dangerous weapons. They say the 22 men in the group were handcuffed and then made to lie with their faces to the ground in the garden. The women had to stand against a wall. “These were not regular police officers. They wore camouflage outfits and we could only see their eyes,” said one of the delegates, Forsy Moalusi. Another delegate, Peter Bapedi, said the police had no form of identification. According to the delegates, they could hear some of the police officers telling one another that they (the delegates) are dangerous and they want to get rid of President Jacob Zuma. One of the police officers’ words were: “You say you want change. You want to get rid of Zuma. Well, here is change.” It was the second time in three days for the delegates in this house to be investigated by police. Said an ANC member from North West’s executive committee: “The attacks are politicking.” “One wonders why only the delegates from the North West have been targeted.” He says the answer is obvious, and is because of their support for the faction that supported Kgalema Motlanthe. Oupa Khoabane, the Free State ANC’s spokesperson, said the ANC cannot justify the victimisation of its members. “The police cannot intimidate people in the name of the conference.” Brigadier Billy Jones, the police’s head of communications in the Free State, said the police executed a warrant to search the house after receiving information that it contained illegal dangerous weapons. No weapons were found and no one was arrested. Jones said the police are aware of allegations that people in the house were assaulted by police officers. A charge of assault was laid at the Park Road Police Station. It will be investigated by the Independent Police Investigations Directorate. – Jabulani Dlamini and Selloane Khalane Mail & Guardian Mangaung: 'Forces of Change' delegates claim police brutality 20 DEC 2012 09:56 - GREG MARINOVICH - NEWSFIRE, THAPELO LEKGOWA - NEWSFIRE A group of ANC North West delegates have claimed they were detained and beaten by police, and that their accommodation was searched without a warrant. SPECIAL FOCUS Mangaung 2012: A special report OUR COVERAGE ANC and Cosatu square off at Mangaung Mangaung Maskandi: It's the end of the world as we know it Justice Malala: How Motlanthe lost Mangaung Mangaung: Unity calls and purge fears after Zuma landslide Mangaung 'bomb' part of Zuma assassination plot These delegates are aligned with the 'Forces of Change' faction of the ANC and were denied accreditation at the beginning of the ANC's elective conference in Mangaung. According to the group, police arrived at their house in Bloemfontein on Wednesday afternoon. Police were allowed onto the property, yet proceeded to kick down the door to the house and search it. Police claimed to be looking for "weapons and heavy weapons", but found nothing. In the course of the raid, the people in the house were told by police to strip off their shirts and were then taken outside and forced to lie on the ground, where their hands were bound behind their backs with cable ties. One person, too afraid to allow NewsFire to use his name, claims that he was kicked in the mouth by police. NewsFire saw at least two people at the Central police station in Bloemfontein, attempting to lay charges. A resident at the delegates' house said that this raid followed a raid on Monday in which police without a warrant wanted to search the house and cars for weapons, which the delegates allowed. Nothing was found. Volksblad, a Bloemfontein newspaper, reported on the Monday raid earlier in the week, saying that a group of ANC delegates were targeted by heavily armed police looking for weapons. Delegates detained in Wednesday's raid told NewsFire that the raid was conducted by regular South African Police Service (SAPS) officers accompanied by men in camouflage uniform and wearing balaclavas. Intimidation The only police unit known to wear camouflage uniform is the Strategic Task Force, an elite unit of less than a hundred members countrywide, who undergo rigorous training akin to the military reconnaissance unit. The delegates from the North West are aligned with the 'Forces of Change' faction of the ANC who are opposed to President Jacob Zuma's second term as ANC president, and believe they are being persecuted for supporting Zuma's opponent Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe. The ANC in the North West is split between pro- and anti-Zuma factions. The faction supporting Zuma is led by Supra Mahumapelo, the provincial chairperson. The faction against Zuma is led by Kabelo Mataboge, the provincial secretary who survived an attempted assassination a few weeks ago. Mataboge, representing 700 disgruntled North West ANC members, led an unsuccessful legal challenge to obtain an interdict preventing provincial delegates from attending the national conference in Mangaung, on the basis that the nomination processes had been unlawful. During the North West provincial delegate nomination process, Mataboge claims that he was locked in a room to prevent his participation. Last week, he was suspended from the ANC and on Sunday evicted from the national conference venue in Mangaung. The grounds for his suspension remain unclear, but he believes it was motivated by his vocal support of Zuma's opponent Kgalema Motlanthe as well as his high-profile involvement in the legal challenge. Police were approached for comment, but had not responded by the time of publication. MAIL & GUARDIAN - - - - COMMENTS BY SONNY - - - - TO ERR IS ANC...... TO SUCCEED IS DEMOCRACY! Eighteen years into ANC rule and they still cannot "PROTECT AND SERVE!" ARE THEY USING A 'WHITE FEMALE WARRANT OFFICER' TO DO THEIR DIRTY WORK? No wonder Zuma had a 'clear win!'

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