Breakaway party accuses ANC of intimidation

The Congress of the People has again accused the African National Congress of running a campaign of...

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The Congress of the People has again accused the African National Congress of running a campaign of violence and intimidation against its members.

The newly formed party said that its supporters had been victimised by members of the ruling party who barged into meetings unannounced and caused disruptions.

COPE said that in the latest incident, one of its members was verbally attacked, assaulted and threatened by well known ANC members in Barbeton.

The organisation formed, after a split in the ANC said that the ruling party’s conduct had raised fears that this year’s election might not be free or fair.

COPE’S Sipho Ngwema said that some party members had to be hospitalised as a result of the violence.

"It seems that the ANC has adopted a strategy where they have to intimidate us and beat up people. A number of people have been assaulted and a number of people have been intercepted and the culprit all the time, is the African National Congress,” said Ngwema.

The ANC denied involvement in any disruptions at COPE meetings

The ruling party’s Brian Sokutu said that they respected people’s rights.

“Well, the ANC believes in political tolerance. We believe in freedom of speech as well as freedom for salvation. We don’t believe that any of our members have ever been involved in any extra violence against COPE or any political party,” said Sokutu.