He believes the attack on his character occurs unfairly and should be stopped lest it becomes organisational culture.
One of Premier Refilwe Mtshweni-Tsipane’s most important lobbyists and Nkangala ANCYL secretary Thabang Mathebula has said he plans to wrestle with his political rivals in the region while also fighting what he says was a SASCO “propaganda” distributed on social media by leaders to discredit his character and alleging things he is not capable of.
He said a lot of people know that he is not capable of violence or the instruction of his followers to use violence and that he was the kind of a humble person who would rather prefer debates than physical fights.
Mathebula speaks while divisions ravage the Nkangala ANC region and leader Speedy Mashilo plays his cards closer to his chest amid tensions between his supporters and that of Tsipane who also hails from the Nkangala region ahead of the party’s 13th provincial conference.
A charismatic leader of the ANCYL Nkangala, Mathebula is one of Tsipane’s most important lobbyists in that region and their camp is backed by deputy president DD Mabuza.
His “level of immaturity” and “unruly behaviour” was lambasted by the SASCO Nkangala two weeks ago in a press statement released to condemn a disruption of the student body’s elective conference on 16 November 2019 – allegedly by Mathebula and comrades opposed to acting chairman Mandla Ndlovu’s chairpersonship ambition in the upcoming 13th provincial conference.
Mathebula said he would challenge each and every line written on that SASCO statement – and plans to drag all those who released the statement to court where they will have to prove inside a court of law how on the night of 15 November he went to the Lilly Villa guest house in eMalahleni and disrupted a planned student elective congress.
The SA student congress or SASCO in short said they sat as planned at the venue on that night, hoping to elect a new leadership that would fight student battles after a period of not having an elected SASCO structure in Nkangala.
Regional secretary Skhumbuzo Phangisa in the statement said while they were receiving a political report from their task team, “we saw a mob of about 25 people who were not part of the invited delegation making noise outside the venue of the congress”.
“Demanding a forceful entry to the congress venue, the PEC deployees disapproved.
“The mob was led by the regional secretary of ANCYL in Nkangala fighter (sic) Thabang Mathebula, who actively led engagements representing the mob accusing the RTT of being biased to invitations, he further made an ultimatum demanding that all his mob be part of congress or the congress will collapse,” said Phangisa.
Phangisa alleged that when Mathebula’s demand for the mob to form part of the conference the situation got “to a point where he instructed his mob to use pepper spray in the congress venue”.
“This disturbed the presidium and we adjourned for a period of 3 hours,” the press statement said.
Mathebula said everything mentioned in the statement, including circulating WhatsApp screenshots of him seemingly saying he was working for Tsipane when allegedly disrupting the SASCO congress, were not true.
He said as he approaches the eMalahleni Magistrates Court he wants “to expose lies propaganda, distortion and harassment”.
“The lie about me must be exposed and even themselves those comrades who released the statement they know that they are lying.
“I can see that there is a very strong campaign to damage my name and to destroy my reputation as well as my character so that when people view and look at me they see a very different person than the person they know. I want to put an end to that,” he said.
“Even themselves know, deep down inside their consciousness they know it’s not true. The picture they are painting about me over the social media is pure lies. I do not have the capacity or capabilities to disrupt any meeting and even those who were once close to me they know that I can never do that, they might disagree now because of the different views we are having for the conference but they know I can’t,” he said.
SASCO also said Mathebula further engaged the owners and the management of the venue to kick them out of it as it was seen as having supporters of acting chairman Mandla Ndlovu.
SASCO has also asked the ANC Nkangala to look at the matter and were also of the view that the ANCYL too must “address and provide necessary discipline to the regional secretary”.
Meanwhile, a case of assault is being investigated by the eMalahleni police after the alleged use of a pepper spray to attack treasurer Nompie Mashaba.
But Mathebula on the other hand intends to apply for a protection order against a string of SASCO leaders, so it forces them to come answer about the “lies” they distributed in the press statement.
(edited by ZK)
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