It appears as if the ANC’s birthday celebrations have been marred with unrest after chaos erupted in Polokwane on Friday. The drama saw angered ANC youth league members demanding entrance into the Jack Botes Community Hall.
President Cyril Ramaphosa was expected to deliver the Peter Mokaba memorial lecture at the venue. Interestingly, it appears that Ramaphosa was initially meant to start the event at 2pm but only arrived two hours later.
Members of the ANC youth league prompted chaos on Friday amid the party’s birthday celebrations. Image: ANC /Twitter
ANC Youth League claims factionalism at play
The commotion kicked off earlier in the day with an estimated 100 members of the Youth League from the Peter Mokaba region storming the gates.
The mob told the South African Police Service and ANC security personnel that they were entitled to entry. The group were adamant that the event was a Youth League event.
ANC member Thabo Mabotja, leading the protest, claimed that the tags permitting entry into the venue had been distributed in a ‘factional manner’.
“The whole process is flawed as the tags should have been fairly issued, not in the factional manner they have done.”
It appears that the general consensus amid the ANC members who were not permitted to join the event runs along these lines.
Certainly, many claimed that factionalism had been at play when it was determined who would be permitted entry.
Ramaphosa managed to dodge the commotion
Some ANC members could be witnessed attempting to bar the mob from the event, while the crowd outside did its best to get into the venue.
However, President Cyril Ramaphosa was not at the venue at the time of the commotion with only a handful of his security guards seen securing the area.
Interestingly, Ramaphosa had been forced to abandon the Lilian Ngoyi memorial lecture, reportedly due to a lack of COVID-19 compliance. Furthermore, this was another event in Polokwane which had been arranged by the ANC Youth League.