The African National Congress (ANC) in the Eastern Cape has noted with shock and dismay the arrest of two councillors for murder.

ANC councillor for Ward 17 at Emalahleni Local Municipality, Hluphekile Cecil Bobotyane, was arrested after being linked to the brutal murders of seven people , five of whom were burnt alive. Also Winnie Madikizela-Mandela Municipality Ward 6 Councillor, Lucky Birthwell Mbuzi was arrested, accused of being involved in the killing of Cde Mduduzi Madikizela. Mduduzi Madikizela died in a hail of bullets after he was allegedly ambushed at his Ntshamathe Village on Friday night.

We strongly condemn these barbaric acts as they have no place in our democracy but above all in our movement.

Our movement values lives of all South Africans and is disgusted that public representatives who are entrusted to represent aspirations and interest of our communities are involved in serious criminal acts. It is not only disgusting, but also erodes the values on which the ANC is founded. Values of interpreting selflessness and respect for one another and respect for life.

Whilst we welcome the arrests, in this instance, we are empowered by the ANC Constitution, including instructing these two councillors to immediately step aside from their responsibilities and refer this matter to the Provincial Disciplinary Committee so that the ANC can equally express its disgust through its constitutional procedures.

We are confident that our disciplinary processes will deal with these matters expeditiously and arrive at a sanction that will be commensurate to the serious offences committed by these councillors.

We want to send a clear message to all the members of the ANC that the organisation will not habour perpetrators of serious crime within its ranks and the law must take its course.

We will intensify the fight against crime, in all its manifestations – from the unacceptable level of murders, assaults, gender based violence and femicide.

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