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Case of malicious damage to property opened following EFF & ANC scuffle

An ANC supporter was rushed to hospital after being stabbed outside the venue following a scuffle.

FILE: Thousands of ANC supporters filled the Emirates Airline Park in Johannesburg on 31 July for the party's final rally ahead of the upcoming local government elections. Picture: Reinart Toerien

JOHANNESBURG - Rustenburg police say a case of malicious damage to property has been opened following tensions outside the Civic Centre where the first council meeting was held

Yesterday council proceedings got off to a rocky start after clashes between African National Congress (ANC) and Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) supporters after the ANC retained the municipality.

An ANC supporter was also rushed to hospital after being stabbed outside the venue following the announcement of results.

The governing party claims the assault was committed by an EFF member, while the red berets say the fight was among ANC supporters.

The police's Sabata Mogkwabone said, "We can confirm that at this stage, we've opened a case of malicious damage that has been registered that's under investigation and that no one has been arrested at this stage."

Parties were unhappy with the result after being confident that negotiations with other small parties would lead to new opposition government.

EFF's Diale said they accept the ruling party's win.

"Now at this stage as EFF we're saying it's fine ANC has retained Rustenburg Municipality. We're still weighing our options in this regard, but for now we've no fights against anyone."

The Democratic Alliance (DA)'s Herman Groenewald said, "The ANC must know that they're in for the big thing now as we're much more watchful at this stage on each and every department."

Both DA and EFF say smaller opposition parties that had agreed to vote in favour of a coalition government reneged on the plan.

The red berets say while they accept defeat, they believe the absence of some members during yesterday's vote could have swung the result in a different way.

Diale said they are now weighing their options after today's result.

"Not all members that we expected will be voting with us as the opposition [did so]. For example, we had Black Consciousness Movement who didn't vote and we have another councillor, who we can't identify at this stage, who also did not vote with the EFF and the opposition."

MAINTAIN FIRM CONTROL

Meanwhile, ANC in Rustenburg said its control of the municipality once again shows that the organisation has not betrayed the people and has been entrusted with alleviating poverty.

There are conflicting reports on what caused the altercation, with the red berets claiming the fight was between ANC members.

The ANC in Rustenburg's Suzan Dantjie said they will continue with programmes implemented in their previous term

"The mayor has been there for the last five years with the people of Rustenburg, they know him. He's the people's person. He has been delivering and he's just going to rework on the programmes that have been there."

The national ANC has condemned the violence in Rustenburg and has called for a zero tolerance attitude towards people, including their own members.

The governing party in the province said it has always been willing to work with other political parties to improve service delivery, while the opposition said it will strengthen its role as a watchdog.