14 June 2012

Zimbabwe: 'Rabble Rousers' Blamed for Attack On Welshman Ncube in SA

The MDC led by Welshman Ncube has blamed 'rabble rousers' for an attack on the party leader in South Africa over the weekend, who have also been blamed for trying to discredit the party.

A group of party members in Soweto pelted Ncube with t-shirts, threw chairs and over turned tables at a meeting in the South African township. The meeting was convened to elect local leadership for the party, but it soon turned to pandemonium when a group of members turned their anger on Ncube.

The group of disgruntled members was led by Diliza Mangoye, the International Relations Youth Secretary, Women's League member Sipho Moyo, and Interim Organising Secretary Gad Mafikizolo Lunga. They accused Ncube and the national leadership of favouritism.

Ncube was accused of filling the leadership spots in South Africa with the friends of his son Wesley, as a thank you for participating at his wedding when he married South Africa President Jacob Zuma's daughter a few years ago.

But the party has denied this, calling the incident the result of 'rabble rousers' who were trying to discredit the congress. Party spokesperson Nhlanhla Dube told SW Radio Africa on Thursday that some of the members are former Zimbabwean police, who were expressing their anger for not being voted into the South African executive.

Dube meanwhile explained that the party is relieved and pleased about this week's court verdict, which once again ruled that the MDC congress that elected Ncube to his leadership position was held in accordance with the party constitution.

This is not the first time Ncube's leadership has been called into question in court, after former party leader Arthur Mutambara was ousted in that congress early last year. Despite court rulings supporting Ncube's position as the leader of the third party in Zimbabwe's coalition government, Mutambara has remained Deputy Prime Minister.

Party spokesperson Dube explained that "we are not holding our breaths" for Ncube to become the Deputy PM, saying ZANU PF and Robert

Mugabe are "happier to close Professor Ncube out of the political space."

"This court verdict validates our argument that the congress was legitimate and therefore Professor Ncube is our legitimate leader. But we won't hold our breaths expecting him to replace Mutambara in the unity government," Dube said.

To contact this reporter email alex@swradioafrica.com or follow on Twitter @albell88

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