THE ANC has vigorously denied DA claims that a member of the Western Cape legislature incited violence in Hermanus this week.
Human Developments MEC Bonginkosi Madikizela said on Wednesday that he would submit a motion to the provincial parliament to refer Cameron Dugmore to the ethics committee for inciting violence.
The ANC dismissed Madikizela’s accusation as a “baseless fabrication” and said it was an attempt to shift the spotlight away from the DA’s failure to release land in the area.
Dugmore, who was sent to Hermanus on Tuesday to “intervene” in violent protests that began at the weekend, was photographed sending a WhatsApp message to ANC Western Cape secretary Faiez Jacobs in which he wrote in part, “this is a campaign we must lead and drive in terms of our policies… we must also look at well-located private land and consider…”.
Madikizela suggested Dugmore was referring to an organised use of civil unrest as a means to attain political leverage.
But Dugmore said the unfinished message referred directly to a Facebook post he had written on Monday in which he called for all land to be used in the public interest “for integrated human settlements and socio-economic purposes that advance socio-economic transformation.”
ANC acting provincial chairman Khaya Magaxa said Madikizela’s accusations were an attempt by the DA to score political points. The ANC was committed to ensuring a constitutionally lawful process of land reclamation was carried out.
“The ANC is very clear that all campaigns for land and housing must be conducted in terms of the constitution and the laws of our country,” he told a news conference at the legislature.
“We condemn land grabs without reservation. As the ANC we never condone populist protests where property is destroyed.”
Dugmore pondered how “DA spies” had managed to get close enough to him to photograph his WhatsApp message, and said the “cheap attempt from the DA to discredit the protest and imply that the ANC is behind this land grab” is indicative of their own failures to release land in the Hermanus area.
“We as the ANC have a responsibility to lead a disciplined campaign. For anyone to suggest that the ANC or myself as an individual is trying to provoke land invasions is actual nonsense,” he said.
“I was concluding a suggestion that we direct and lead and give hope to people in order to stop the protest. The protest is community led and we had nothing to do with initiating this protest.”
ANC provincial treasurer Maurencia Gillion said in his budget speech on Wednesday that Madikizela had prioritised “big, private developers” rather than the poor.
“The people in Hermanus are taking their anger to the streets,” she said. “They are sick and tired of the DA’s lies and promises.”