Is the ANC behind the Bitou violence?

Surely Africa’s oldest liberation movement turned government would not stoop this low in its centenary year!?

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Oudtshoorn. 23 February 2012. 08h50. Putco Mapitiza, the ANC Regional Secretary for the Southern Cape and Klein Karoo, called last year for all DA-led councils to be made ungovernable.

When OO discovered that one of the accused in the arson case resulting from Saturday nights’s fire at the Bitou municipality was an ANC cadre, two and two was threatening compellingly to make four.

Mapitiza had this comment on OO’s report of the Bitou violence yesterday, at 08h10:

Just need to understand whether the aforesaid publication by OO suggest that ANC are the perpetrators of the service delivery protest in Bitou???

OO responded at 08h36:

Putco, the ANC perpetrating violence!? Never! How could you even think that OO would suggest such nonsense!?

The ANC would never be violent! That was the domain of the Nat regime, and of Inkhata in KZN and on the mines, in the Aparthate Era.

The second accused, Putco, and his name is known to OO, is an ANC acolyte.

R50,000, Putco, so OO hears but can not yet confirm, was transferred into a certain attorney’s account on Sunday – Sunday! – the day after the arson, for the accused’s defence… OO can only surmise that one of the Bossiegif residents effected the transfer from an iPad when news of arrests became known.

There’s more, Putco.

But OO would never think the ANC able of violent and riotous behaviour!


At 08h55 OO fired off this email to Mapitiza:

Dear Putco

Our brief exchange on OO this morning refers.

Please confirm the position of Mr Mpumelelo Majamawi, of 1244 Qolweni, employed as a cleaner in the Kwanokuthula Clinic, in the Bossiegif/Qolweni ANCYL.

Putco responded evasively at 08h58: Answer my questions as to whether you’re implying that ANC is instigating violence in Bitou.

OO’s reply at 09h22:

Putco, I am appalled that you can even consider the possibility that I may think that the ANC is capable of organised violence!

Hell no!

I put a simple question to the Regional Secretary of the South Cape / Klein Karoo and I trust a simple answer is imminent.

Surely the ANC will not disavow a comrade!?

Mapitiza did not respond, so OO promted him at 11h16:

Surely the ANC’s records are such that the most senior regional administrator can access information, especially membership data, expeditiously – at the punching of a button even!

Please respond to my enquiry about Mpumelelo Majamawi soonest.

I can think of no-one better to ask than you as the happenings of the night of May 3, 2007, and resident Vicky Mangqwengqwe, speaks to your comprehensive knowledge of the people of Bitou!

And again at 15h28:

Now we have a serious problem.

It turns out that Mr Mpumelelo Majamawi is an influential advisor to the ANCYL in Qolweni and surrounds.

This is the same Mr Majamawi who was arrested on Sunday in connection with the arson at the municipality.

Putco, we have a solemn responsibility to the youth. We must guard them and guide them. I suggest you investigate Mr Majamawi and act decisively if he is found to subvert the youth.

As we both know, the ANC will never be a party to violence as a means to an end and we can not have individuals such as Mr Majamawi undermine the reputation of the oldest revolutionary organisation in Africa.

As I see it, Putco, either the ANC distances itself from Mr Majamawi, or tacitly accepts responsibility for outcomes of Mr Majamawi’s influence and instigation.

What say you, Putco?

No response.

So OO sms’d Mapitiza at 18h49: Putco, why don’t you answer my simple question about Mpumelelo Majamawi? What are you hiding, Putco?

Mapitiza emailed at 18h53: Answer mine (by illusion on OO are you implying that the ANC is instigating violence in Bitou. What do you want me to say about Mpumelelo Majamani?

OO replied at 18h56:

O, please, Putco! Your silence screams the answer!

Is Mpumelelo Majamawi an ANC member, or leader!?

Easy question for someone who has nothing to hide.

O well, read the facts on OO tomorrow, my good man!

It is clear that Mapitiza is prevaricating, equivocating, paltering, tergiversating, and weaselling.

The DA Leader, Helen Zille, released this media statement on the Bitou violence yesterday:

Is the ANC attempting to make Bitou ungovernable?
22 February 2012
Release: immediate

I will be requesting a meeting with the Western Cape Police Commissioner, Arno Lamoer, to discuss the problem of politically-motivated violence perpetrated against the DA-governed Bitou municipality after the alleged arson at the council’s head offices in Plettenberg Bay in the early hours of Sunday morning.

This follows the call last year by the ANC’s Southern Cape Regional Secretary, Putco Mapitisa, for all DA-led councils to be made ungovernable. The effects of this call were acute in the first few months of the new DA-led Bitou council’s term, with the municipality being forced to get a court interdict to stop the ANC from disrupting council meetings.

Sunday’s fire was started in the wing where both the mayor and municipal manager’s offices are based. A window was broken and flammable liquid was poured into a ground floor office.

This part of the building was probably targeted due to the highly-flammable dry-wall petitions used in the offices. Extensive damage has been caused to the building, including smoke damage stretching some 50 metres down the corridors.

This is just the latest incident in the continuing trend of political violence in Bitou:

– Criminal charges have been laid against local ANC leaders in Qolweni for demolishing shacks belonging to supporters of other parties and forcibly removing people from the area

– Executive Mayor Memory Booysen has received numerous anonymous phone-calls by people referring to him as a “dog” and threatening to kill him. Mr Booysen currently is forced to wear a bulletproof-vest.

– Local business leaders have gone on record during a meeting with the council to say that the ANC ward councillor in Qolweni is actively involved in orchestrating the violence

– Recently, security has been stepped up at the home of Deputy Mayor, Adam Van Ryhner, after death threats were received

It is clear from recent events that the ANC is actively involved in attempting to make the council ungovernable. This campaign aims to use violence and fear to undermine the work of the elected DA-led council. The DA will not be deterred by attempts to stop us from delivering opportunities and better services for all the people where we govern.

I look forward to taking this matter up with Commissioner Lamoer before it spirals out of control and lives are lost.

OO has uncovered alarming circumstantial evidence about the Bitou violence, indicating political motive.

OO also knows that Mapitiza himself is not above violence.

Neil Oelofse, of Garden Route Media, reported in the E P Herald of May 12, 2007, that on the night of May 3 that year, while still working for Bitou, Mapitiza and a number of colleagues, Kenny Leluma; Andile Mbali; and Peter Lobese, “trashed” the house of a local teacher, Vicky Mangqwengqwe, smashing all the windows and breaking household items because they suspected her brother of damaging the house of the then Mayor.

Mangqwengqwe said that the men left, saying they were going to find an activist, one “Rasta”. She saw Rasta’s house go up in flames minutes later.

As Bitou Executive Mayor, Memory Booysen, said in a media statement Tuesday, there are people in Bitou with much to hide and more to lose now that the ANC no longer governs Bitou.

Is the ANC behind the violence?

Nobody’s saying.

But Mapitiza’s silence is more than telling. It’s yelling.

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5 thoughts on “Is the ANC behind the Bitou violence?

  1. Funny thing is that when the defence attorney asked the accused in this matter to which political party they belong and their answers were 2 DA, 2 COPE and 1 ANC.

  2. This remains very interesting for me. Especially the assumptions people make and the conclusions they jump to. First things first. Does membership to a party mean that the actions/crimes of that member is the responsibility of the party? In other words, should we now go to courts and jails across the country and find out to which party each convicted criminal (note that Majamawi is still only an accused) belongs to and then accuse the parties of organised rape/murder/fraud/robbery etc? That would be absurd, no? So, let us assume (rightly or wrongly) that the accused is indeed guilty, AND is indeed a member of the ANC, what does that mean/prove? It certainly cannot prove that the ANC was involved at all.

    Secondly I have heard other rumours (no doubt spread by the DA) that R50 000,00 was paid into an attorneys account on Sunday. Who is the attorney and where is the proof of the funds being paid over? Surely, we should not listen to unsubstantiated rumours, much less publish them.

  3. Ed – Its remarkable how Zille and the WC administration “uses” OO investigative activities and reporting when it suits them, but otherwise ignores it and even forbids her party faithful and councilors to ignore it and have them sign agreements not even to read OO let alone talk to the editor in fear of their “jobs”.

    Hypocrisy of the highest order I say, not to mention political opportunism?.

    Take note Zille, even the ANC / pitco “use” OO to their advantage and against the DA – makes you think ne’?

  4. Ai die Putco bus spoed voort, het dit n drywer?

    Mr Mapitiza kan maar die da net loslaat hul sal hulself hier in Oudtshoorn verwoes, wonder net of hul saam met Noeltjie dienste gaan lewer, maar ek betwyfel of hul die waarheid sal verkondig.

  5. Hier kom n ding !!!!!!!!!!!!!
    So geluister na Pravin Gordhan op SAFM vanoggend. Hy se die dae van mense wat onbevoeg is vir aanstellings, nepotisme, korrupdie en swak dienslewering, is verby. Dit sluit geweld in. Hoe dink Mapatiza gaan hy en die ANC hierby verbykom sonder verdere skeuring binne eie geledere ??
    Sy dae is dus ook getel, of hoe ?

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